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Japan Patent OfficeFurther Strengthening of Cooperation in the IP Field between Japan, China, and the Republic of Korea-Results of the 15th Trilateral Policy Dialogue Meeting between the JPO, SIPO and KIPO-

On November 17, 2015, the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the State Intellectual Property Office of the People's Republic of China (SIPO), and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) held the 15th Commissioners Meeting. At this meeting, they agreed to publicize the results of a case study by the three offices regarding requirements for changing the content of documents in which applicants describe the scope of their patent rights and the details of their inventions (requirements for amendments). By providing further understanding of the examination practices in the three offices, the information is expected to be useful for users who intend to file applications with the three offices. Furthermore, the offices discussed possible cooperation in a wide variety of fields, including examinations in the fields of patents and designs, appeals and trials, and automation.

1. Background

China and the Republic of Korea (ROK) are Japan’s second- and third-largest trading partners, respectively, and they have established a close economic relationship with Japan, as seen in the fact that the value of exports from Japan to those countries accounts for one fourth of the total value of its exports. In addition, in 2013, 1.35 million patent applications were filed with the JPO, SIPO, and KIPO, accounting for more than half of the total applications worldwide (2.57 million applications). This fact shows the increasing importance of enhancing cooperation between the three offices in order to develop global intellectual property systems.

Sharing this recognition, in 2001, the three offices launched the annual Commissioners Meeting and have since continued to hold meetings so as to enhance cooperation in a variety of fields, including IP systems and examination practices, design, automation, human resource development, and appeals and trials. On November 17, 2015, the offices held the 15th Trilateral Policy Dialogue Meeting in Guangzhou, China. In addition, taking advantage of this opportunity, a symposium was held with users from the three countries attending, and participants proactively exchanged opinions concerning cooperation in examinations, measures to support small and medium enterprises, and other IP-related issues.

2. Outline of the results of the meeting

At the meeting, representatives from the three offices discussed possible cooperation in a wide variety of fields, including examinations in the fields of patents and designs, appeals and trials, and automation. The main details of their agreement are as follows:

1) Cooperation in the field of patents

The heads of the three offices endorsed the outcomes of the case study on the Requirements for Amendments by the three offices and agreed to disclose them to the general public. In this case study, they mainly discussed differences in judgments between the offices concerning whether content added through amendments must be within the scope of the content as described in the documents as originally filed, or not (when such content is not included, the amendment is regarded as an Addition of New Matters, and such amendments are not allowed), and they confirmed the differences between the offices in the requirements for amendments in the examination practices.

2) Cooperation in the field of designs

The three offices agreed to continue the exchange of opinions concerning design systems and examination standards in each country in the future, while confirming the importance of discussions on issues of common interest between the three offices in the field of designs.
In addition, the three offices shared the recognition that the Japan-China-Korea Design Forum*1 is a significant opportunity contributing to mutual understanding of design systems in the offices, and they emphasized the necessity of continuing and developing the forum in the future.

3) Cooperation in other fields

The three offices agreed to launch a new Trilateral IP Cooperation Website named TRIPO (Trilateral IP Offices),*2 which is provided in Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and English, for the purpose of providing users in the three countries with easy access to information.

3. Future actions

The JPO will enhance cooperation for comparative studies on IP systems under the JPO-KIPO-SIPO Trilateral Framework and will also facilitate cooperation which will further improve user-friendliness in the process of acquiring patent rights, by disclosing information at symposiums and seminars and on various websites. It will endeavor to develop an environment for IP systems under which the IP rights of Japanese applicants will be protected and utilized appropriately throughout Japan, China, and the ROK.

*1: The forum aims to develop mutual understanding of design protection systems in Japan, China, and the ROK and to discuss ideal approaches to protecting design rights, which will contribute to the appropriate use of such designs. It was launched in 2010, and since then it has been held on a revolving basis at each of the offices in turn.
*2: TRIPO website (http://www.tripo.org/)

Release date

November 17, 2015

Division in charge

  • International Policy Division, Policy Planning and Coordination Department, JPO
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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