Enter at your own risk

Japan market entry is tricky for disruptive technology. I recently met the local representative of a successful US start-up. The local rep had convinced headquarters that the Japan product needed to be launched under a different name, with a different look and feel, on a local infrastructure, and be managed by the Japan team.

I’ve seen this countless times. The local rep is happy to keep taking the parent company’s money, but if business really takes off, the representative will take ownership of the brand, clone the technology and launch a competing service.

A small foreign company simply cannot enforce their intellectual property in Japan.

Never give up your brand!

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