Graduate School of Law/Faculty of Law, Kobe University


Meet Our Students



I have worked as a patent examiner at the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO). I was selected for the Global Korea Scholarship, which is a scholarship program supported by the government of the Republic of Korea. I have studied at Kobe University since October 2012 and schedule to continue for a total of two and a half years here. The theme of my research is “The Inventiveness of Computer Software-Related Inventions.”

When I was examining computer software-related patent applications filed with the KIPO, I constantly had doubts about the criteria that were used to determine whether the content of an application was an invention or not. In particular, I thought that the existing criteria were too vague. I wondered why certain criteria had been established, and I questioned whether the criteria in place were really sufficient. That was the reason why I chose the aforementioned theme for my research at the Kobe University Graduate School of Law.

Computer software is protected not only by patent law but also by copyright law both in Korea and Japan. This is one of the most important elements for consideration when I was selecting where I would study. I chose Kobe University because I wanted to study under Professor Ryo Shimanami, who is well known for his distinguished research in both patent law and copyright law.

Kobe University is sandwiched between Osaka Bay and Mt. Rokko and offers a beautiful view of the city of Kobe—a view that is especially spectacular at night. The university is blessed with a lush natural environment that provides the optimum surroundings for carrying out research.

The Graduate School of Law and Faculty of Law offer a diverse curriculum that includes courses for international students, such as “Introduction of Japanese Law,” as well as classes like “Research Design in Regal Studies” that is for students who have limited academic experience. As such, the Graduate School of Law offers an excellent environment that enables students like me, whose field of specialization was originally the sciences, to carry out legal research.

In addition to studies in the area of specialization, international students can also utilize the Kobe University International Student Center (KISC). The KISC offers various support programs for international students; some examples are Japanese language courses, opportunities to experience Japanese culture, and tutorage.

While academic studies and research are, of course, the main reasons for studying abroad, I think that experiencing a new culture is also important. I think that Kobe is ideal in that sense.

When foreigners think about Kobe, things like Kobe beef, the beautiful nightscape, and delicious bread and pastries probably come to mind. However, I think that Kobe is also a wonderful place for families, and particularly for bringing up children. It is a very child-friendly city.

I am here with my wife and two children—a four year old son and two year old daughter. I enjoy going to various facilities like the zoo, aquarium, Rokkosan Pasture, art museums, and museums. I am very fortunate to be able to experience not only a fulfilling academic life but also enjoy an enriching life outside of the university as well.

I highly recommend Kobe University to anyone considering studying in Japan, particularly to those of you who are coming back to school to continue higher education as an adult or wish to bring your family along with you to Japan.