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Patent attorneys accuse Tokyo inventors group head of fraud.

TOKYO, Sept. 27 Kyodo

A group of patent attorneys on Wednesday demanded that police investigate the founder of an amateur inventors' support group whom it accuses of swindling inventors out of 340 million yen over the past 10 years, the attorneys said.

The Japan Patent Attorneys Association said in an accusation letter that the 93-year-old founder of Hatsumeigakkai (Invention Academy) collected the money as fees for copyrighting 170,000 inventions.

The association, which is authorized by the Japanese Patent Office under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, also accused a 34-year-old company president connected with the group.

The patent attorneys claim the founder, who served as president of the group until stepping down last Wednesday, and the company president have been telling amateur inventors since around 1990 that by paying them a 2,000 yen-fee they will register copyrights for their inventions.

The attorneys pointed out that Japan's Copyright Law does not cover inventions, adding that the Japanese government does not require a registration for copyright.

The founder earlier said, ''Careful investigation would show that I swindled no one.''

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department has yet to announce whether it will formally accept the accusation letter. Acceptance requires investigators to compile a full-fledged report to their superiors.

Hatsumeigakkai was founded in 1961 and authorized as a public group by the Science and Technology Agency in 1972.
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Publication:Japan Science Scan
Date:Oct 2, 2000
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