The Japan Patent Office (JPO) held a meeting with the Directorate General of Intellectual Property Rights (DGIPR) of Indonesia, and both sides agreed to launch a pilot program of the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) on June 1, 2013.
At the same time, the JPO will, from the same day, act as a competent International Searching Authority (ISA) and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA), for PCT international applications filed with the DGIPR.
The JPO has been intensifying intellectual cooperation with rapidly-growing ASEAN countries in order to promote further economic development in the region and to support business activities of Japanese-affiliated companies. The JPO concluded a Memorandum of Cooperation with the IP offices in ASEAN countries at the ASEAN-Japan Heads of Intellectual Property Offices Meetings, which had been held three times. Based on the memorandum, the JPO is now further advancing 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 on trademarks and designs, and cooperation in anti-piracy campaigns through certain measures, such as raising public awareness of intellectual property rights. *1
Concerning Indonesia, the JPO has been proactively cooperating with the country to support the development of the intellectual property infrastructure. In addition to dispatching experts to and accepting trainees from Indonesia, the JPO is intensively making efforts to achieve certain goals, such as strengthening the functions of organizations related to enforcement of laws, and improving the DGIPR's examination ability.
2. JPO's examination cooperation with Indonesia
On April 13, 2013, the JPO concluded an agreement with the DGIPR that both sides will launch the pilot program of the PPH*2 on June 1, 2013.
Through utilizing the PPH, Japanese companies will be able to acquire patent rights through an accelerated procedure in Indonesia, which will allow the companies to smoothly develop their businesses.
Both sides also agreed that the JPO will act as a competent ISA and IPEA for PCT international applications*3 filed with the DGIPR on and after June 1, 2013.*4 This agreement enables the JPO to conduct international searches and international preliminary examinations for PCT international applications filed with the DGIPR. Thereby, the JPO will be able to conduct international searches for all of ASEAN 6. *6
With this measure, allowing the JPO's high-quality prior art search results will become obtainable for PCT international applications filed in Indonesia is expected to contribute to creating an environment which will ensure the appropriate protection of R&D achievements made by Japanese companies in Indonesia.
3. Future prospects
The JPO is planning to increase the number of partner countries for the PPH as well as endeavoring to harmonize and simplify the PPH application procedure so as to support Japanese applicants to acquire stable rights in overseas countries quickly, while aiming to improve the examination quality and reduce the burdens of examiners by utilizing the examination results of other patent offices overseas. At the same time, the JPO is increasing the number of countries where the JPO is able to act as a competent organization to prepare and provide international search reports and other documents for PCT international applications filed with patent offices in emerging countries in Asia, if the applicant so desires.
The JPO will continue to support Japanese companies' global business activities, such as establishing an environment where Japan's applicants are able to acquire stable rights in overseas countries, by enhancing the cooperation with Asian emerging countries in the intellectual property areas through examination cooperation and other efforts.
* 1: On April 14, 2013, the third ASEAN-Japan Heads of Intellectual Property Offices Meeting was held in Kyoto and a new action plan was formulated based on the Memorandum of Cooperation:
* 2: The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) is a scheme whereby patent applicants whose applications have been determined as patentable by a patent office are entitled to request, through a simple procedure, an accelerated examination of the corresponding applications in another patent office.
After the agreement with Indonesia, the number of countries and regions that have concluded a PPH with Japan has now come to 26. Indonesia is the third partner in ASEAN region, following Singapore and the Philippines.
* 3: PCT international applications are international patent applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). The Treaty makes it possible to seek patent protection of invention simultaneously in all PCT Contracting States.
Since the International Searching Authority (ISA) or the International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) designated by the PCT shows the search results and opinions on the patentability of PCT international applications, each patent office designated by International applicants can refer to the results and opinions during domestic examination of corresponding applications.
*4: The JPO may, if the applicant so desires, prepare and provide the international search report and the international preliminary examination report for a PCT international application.
Currently, Japan acts as a competent ISA and IPEA for PCT international applications filed in seven countries, namely, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, and Malaysia.
*5: ASEAN 6 are: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
- 1. Details of the PPH:
- 2. JPO Further Increases Its Competence to Act in the Capacity of an International Searching Authority (ISA) and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) for PCT International Applications: (in Japanese)
April 15, 2013
Division in Charge
- International Affairs Division, General Affairs Department, Japan Patent Office
- Examination Policy Planning Office , Administrative Affairs Division, First Patent Examination Department, Japan Patent Office