The JPO and the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce of the Republic of Colombia (SIC) Strengthen Cooperation in Intellectual Property
The JPO and the SIC signed the MOC in Bogota, the capital of Colombia, today (local time on August 4, 2014). Also, the two offices agreed to launch a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program on September 1, 2014. Colombia becomes the first country in the South America to launch a PPH pilot program with the JPO.
The Japan Patent Office (JPO) has been strengthening its cooperation with Latin American countries in the field of intellectual property (IP) in order to improve the IP infrastructure in these rapidly growing countries, as well as to support business activities of Japanese companies doing business in Latin American countries.
Japan and Colombia have been negotiating on an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) since December 2012, and the relationship between the two countries in terms of economic activities is expected to advance further. The two countries have been strengthening their cooperative relationship also in the field of IP. And, on July 29, 2014, in a joint statement made by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, both leaders welcomed the development of cooperation activities between the respective offices in the field of intellectual property including the early commencement of the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH*) pilot project.
*The PPH is a program that enables applications which have been determined to be patentable in one country to undergo accelerated examination in other countries according to simplified procedures, when applicants request accelerated examination.
This agreement between the JPO and the SIC will bring the number of Japan's PPH partners to 29. Columbia becomes the first country in the South America to launch a PPH pilot program with the JPO.
In order to put the cooperative initiatives into motion, on August 4, 2014, the JPO and the SIC signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) between the two offices in Bogota, the capital of Colombia. Also on the same day, the JPO and the SIC signed an agreement to launch a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program, which is scheduled to launch on September 1, 2014.
2．MOC between JPO and SIC
In the MOC, the JPO and the SIC confirmed their cooperation activities in various areas, including the following:
- Exchanging information on the respective IP systems and practices at the Offices, as well as information on regional cooperative frameworks
- Exchanging experiences in promoting the utilization of IP systems by business entities such as SMEs
- Exchanging experiences in improving examination efficiency and workload capacity of the Offices
- Cooperating in the field of human resources development of the officials of the Offices, including enhancing their capabilities
- Cooperating within the international frameworks, including the PPH
- Holding seminar(s) to provide information to IP users
- Providing information to the public on the IP systems of one’s own Office in English
- Sharing feedback from user evaluations of the IP systems and practices of the Offices
Based on this MOC, the JPO will further promote cooperation between the SIC.
3．PPH Pilot Program with the SIC
Based on the PPH pilot program, Japanese companies will be able to request accelerated examinations in Colombia through simplified procedures, based on their applications whose claims have been determined to be patentable in Japan.
The JPO will continue providing support to applicants in Japan so as to enable them to promptly acquire patent rights overseas, based on expanding the PPH network, as well as standardizing and simplifying the procedures for obtaining patent rights.
For further details on the PPH program, please refer to the following URL:
http://www.jpo.go.jp/torikumi/t_torikumi/patent_highway.htm (in Japanese)
August 5, 2014
Division in Charge
International Cooperation Division, Policy Planning and Coordination Department, Japan Patent Office
Administrative Affairs Division, Patent and Design Examination Department (Physics, Optics, Social Infrastructure and Design), Japan Patent Office