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A Report Compiled by the Intellectual Property Committee under the Industrial Structure Council

The Japan Patent Office (JPO) hereby announces that on February 24, 2014, the Intellectual Property Committee under the Industrial Structure Council, chaired by Dr. Tamotsu Nomakuchi, advisor of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), held its fifth meeting and compiled a report.

1. Background and purpose of the committee:

In 2003, the Intellectual Property Basic Act came into effect. Since then, the Government of Japan has been endeavoring to implement a systematic approach towards creating, protecting and utilizing intellectual property rights, including the creation of the Intellectual Property Strategy Headquarters, which is led by the prime minister.

Meanwhile, as seen in the ongoing globalization of business activities, the environment surrounding the intellectual property system has been dramatically changing. Under this situation, in June 2013, the Cabinet decided to approve the Japan Revitalization Strategy and the Basic Policy Concerning Intellectual Property Policy, which anew showed the challenges that Japan should tackle for addressing future intellectual property policies.

In light of this situation, the Intellectual Property Committee under the Industrial Structure Council held five meetings to discuss the future directions of intellectual property policies as well as the specific measures to be dealt with, which Japan should prioritize and accelerate.

2. Results of the meetings

At the fifth meeting, the committee compiled the results of the previous meetings into a report. The report includes the major directions in which the future intellectual property policies should be advanced in the future, focusing on the following three points: [i] strengthening support for Japanese enterprises acquiring and utilizing intellectual property rights from a global viewpoint; [ii] enhancing support for SMEs and regional communities; and [iii] developing environments that contribute to promoting innovation. At the same time, the report also suggested that the JPO should swiftly formulate a specific action plan, including mid- to long-term perspectives, so as to implement measures for addressing respective challenges in a concrete manner, including JPO’s efforts for ideal approaches to examination procedures, fostering examiners, and making administrative operations more efficient.

In addition, the report also clarified 21 issues as urgent challenges that should be dealt with quickly, 11 issues as legal and practical challenges that should be urgently streamlined, and 7 issues as matters to be carried out using the international framework.

Taking the advantage of the meeting, the committee agreed to adopt two reports on the results of the meetings, namely, [i] a report by the Design System Subcommittee under the Intellectual Property Committee, titled “Support for Japanese Enterprises Developing their Business Overseas by Protecting their Rights for Creative Designs” (Appendix 1(PDF:459KB) PDF File (in Japanese)), and [ii] a report by the Patent Attorney System Subcommittee under the same committee, titled “Future Directions for Reviewing the Patent Attorney System” (Appendix 2(PDF:1,405KB) PDF File (in Japanese)).

Furthermore, the committee decided that the Patent System Subcommittee will intensively discuss ideal approaches to inventions by employees.

Release Date

February 24, 2014

Division in Charge

Policy Planning and Research Division, General Affairs Department, Japan Patent Office

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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