Japan Invests in Astronautical Start-upsMarch 28, 2018

Michael Sheetz of CNBC reports “Japan is offering $940 million to fund space start-ups in a new push to grow the industry, the government announced Tuesday at an event in Tokyo” and that “funds will be made available through investments and loans over the next five years, as part of a government-led initiative to double Japan’s more than $11 billion space industry. With less than 20 Japanese space start-ups currently operating, many see this as critical to helping new companies cover costs such as research or applying for patents.”

The Japanese legal system may also be altered or improved such that it would allow businesses to own land developed on the moon. The United States and Luxembourg currently have similar laws on the books. Japan, however, differs from the U.S. and Luxembourg because Japan is considering passing these laws before specific materials are mined and extracted in space from comets, planetary objects, or other interstellar objects.

At least with respect to Luxembourg, the legal framework implemented in the tiny European country is credited with attracting dozens of space companies, with as many as seventy other space companies looking to establish a presence in Luxembourg, according to Deputy Prime Minister Etienne Schneider.

Gregory “Lars” Gunnerson is a Patent Attorney in the Mechanical and Electrical Patent Practice Group at McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC. For additional information please visit www.ipmvs.com or contact Lars directly via email at gregory.gunnerson@ipmvs.com.

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