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Japan Patent OfficeJPO Strengthens Cooperative Relationship with the Department of Intellectual Property, Ministry of Commerce in Thailand- Commencement of exchange of data including patent publications and extension of the PPH pilot program -

The Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) of the Ministry of Commerce of the Kingdom of Thailand, agreed to commence the exchange of patent information data including patent publications held by both offices from January 2016, extend the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program, and continue the PPH pilot program in 2016 and beyond.

1. Background

As the globalization of the world economy advances, the number of patent applications has been increasing worldwide. Intellectual property activities by Japanese enterprises have also been globalized, such as increasing number of patents filed by Japanese enterprises with overseas patent offices. Especially in Thailand, which is an important production base for the Japanese enterprises, the number of patent applications from Japan has been increasing in recent years. The number of applications was approximately 1,700 in 2009, and reached approximately 3,000* in 2013, accounting for 36% of all patent applications filed in Thailand. Regarding the number of patent applications in Thailand by country of applicant, Japan exceeded Thailand and the United States, and the largest number of applications filed with the DIP was from Japan.
Under such circumstances, the JPO and the DIP agreed to strengthen their cooperative relationship, aiming to further facilitate intellectual activities by Japanese enterprises in Thailand.

*From the Japan Patent Office Annual Report 2015

2. Details agreed upon with the DIP

1) Patent Information Data Exchange

The JPO and the DIP have decided to begin, for the first time, the exchange of data on patent information from January 2016, including information on patent publications.
Accordingly, the JPO will receive publication data for patents, petty patents (utility models), designs, and trademarks in Thailand from the DIP. The JPO will provide public users with such data through the Foreign Patent Information Service (FOPISER),** free of charge. FOPISER allows users to query Thai documents by specifying a document number using a user-friendly user interface in Japanese. It is also to be possible for users to query Thai documents in Japanese through machine translation on FOPISER.
In addition, Thai publication data has a high value, not only as information on rights, but also as information on language. By providing private entities and public research institutes that develop translation systems with the publication data in Japanese whose content is the same as the publication data in the Thai language, the data will be utilized for the promotion of machine translation research and the improvement of the precision of machine translation between the Japanese and Thai languages.
Through these efforts, it is expected that users in Japan will be able to easily grasp the situation of intellectual property in Thailand and that the data will be effectively used for the facilitation of obtaining rights in Thailand.

**Foreign Patent Information Service (FOPISER)
https://www.foreignsearch.jpo.go.jp/External Site Link (in Japanese)

2) Extension of the PPH pilot program

The JPO has conducted the PPH pilot program with the DIP for two years since January 1, 2014. For the purpose of supporting Japanese enterprises in quickly obtaining rights in Thailand in the future, the JPO and the DIP decided to extend the PPH pilot program for a further two years from January 1, 2016.
Approximately 300 applications under the PPH pilot program have been filed with the DIP so far. Applications through the PPH pilot program have been examined by the DIP more quickly than normal applications.
In line with extension of the PPH pilot program, applicants can continuously receive quicker examination by filing applications under the program with the DIP.

Release date

December 25, 2015

Division in charge

1) Information on exchange of patent information data:
- Patent Information Office, General Coordination Division, Policy Planning and Coordination Department, JPO
2) Information on the PPH pilot program:
- Examination Policy Planning Office, Administrative Affairs Division, Patent and Design Examination Department (Physics, Optics, Social Infrastructure and Design), JPO

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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