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The Japan Patent OfficeThe JPO to Act as a Competent International Searching Authority (ISA) and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) for Singapore

The Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) have agreed that the JPO will act as a competent International Searching Authority (ISA) and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) for PCT international applications*1, 2 filed in Singapore on December 1, 2012, or thereafter. With this measure, the JPO's high-quality examination results will become accessible for PCT international applications filed in Singapore, which is expected to contribute to creating an environment for ensuring appropriate protection of R&D achievements made by Japanese companies in Singapore.

1. Background

With an increasing number of Japanese companies creating their R&D bases in Asian emerging countries, etc., their intellectual property activities in those countries are becoming more important than ever. Because of this, it is necessary to create an environment in those countries for ensuring appropriate protection of inventions made at such local bases. In addition, cases of Japanese companies filing PCT applications for inventions made at their local bases with the national patent offices of those countries are expected to increase.

Meanwhile, the JPO has been intensifying intellectual cooperation with the rapidly growing ASEAN countries in order to promote further economic development in the region and to support the business activities of Japanese-affiliated companies. The JPO is now further advancing the cooperation to meet the needs of ASEAN countries in various areas, such as support for fostering human resources, and computerization, as well as participation in international agreements, and cooperation for anti-piracy campaigns through certain measures, such as raising public awareness of intellectual property.

Furthermore, in July 2012, the JPO and IPOS concluded the Memorandum of Cooperation aiming at enhanced cooperation between the offices. In line with the memorandum, the JPO is now progressing cooperation in patent examination procedures, development of human resources, information exchanges and other efforts with the IPOS.

2. Acting as a competent ISA and IPEA for PCT international applications filed in Singapore

Based on the memorandum between the offices in July 2012, the JPO and IPOS have agreed that the JPO will act as a competent ISA and IPEA for PCT international applications filed in Singapore on December 1, 2012, or thereafter. With this measure, the JPO's high-quality examination results will become accessible for PCT international applications filed in Singapore, which is expected to contribute to creating an environment for ensuring the appropriate protection of R&D achievements made by Japanese companies in Singapore.

3. Future prospects

The JPO will continue its efforts to support the global business activities of Japanese companies by working to act as a competent ISA and IPEA for more ASEAN countries and other Asian emerging countries, etc., and making the JPO's high-quality examination results accessible for PCT international applications filed in those countries, as well as by strengthening its cooperative relations with those countries in the intellectual property field.

*1 PCT international applications: PCT international applications are international patent applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). The Treaty makes it possible to seek patent protection for an invention simultaneously in all PCT Contracting States. Since these applications are examined for patentability by the International Searching Authority (ISA) or the International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) designated by the PCT, with the results published, patent offices can refer to official opinions presented therein during their domestic examination of corresponding applications.

*2 When the JPO acts as a competent ISA and IPEA in charge of PCT international search and international preliminary examination of a specific country, the JPO may, if the applicant so desires, prepare the international search report and the international preliminary examination report for a PCT international application received by the patent office of that country. Currently, Japan acts as a competent ISA and IPEA for PCT international applications filed in Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Release Date

November 30, 2012

Division in Charge

International Affairs Division, General Affairs Department, the Japan Patent Office

Related Information

Regional Affairs / Singapore

 
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