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Joint press release with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Japan Patent Office
Enhancement of the Consultation Service System for Intellectual Property Related to Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

Through cooperation between the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), the IP Help Desks established by the JPO in all prefectures will start providing consultation regarding intellectual property related to agriculture, forestry, and fisheries.

Brands of agricultural, forestry, and fishery products can be protected under systems of "geographical indications" and "plant breeder's rights," which are under the jurisdiction of MAFF, and also protected by means of "trademarks," "designs," and "patents," which are under the jurisdiction of the JPO. In order to promote regional brands, it is necessary to protect them using appropriate types of intellectual property depending on the circumstances of respective regions and the nature of regional products.

In October this year, the IP Help Desks, which were established in FY2011 by the JPO in all prefectures (transferred to the jurisdiction of the National Center for Industrial Property Information and Training [INPIT] in FY2016), will start providing consultations regarding geographical indications and plant breeder's rights, in addition to consultations regarding patents, trademarks and trade secrets. In preparation for this enhancement of consultation services, which has been achieved through cooperation with the JPO, MAFF is currently taking the initiative for information sharing with the staff at the help desks.

Within the framework of the "JPO on Tour" program implemented with the objective of making IP systems more convenient for users, such as applicants for IP rights and encouraging more companies to use IP, MAFF personnel will appear at regional brand seminars to be held in Kagoshima in October and Kyoto in November and explain the geographical indication protection system.

Release date

September 21, 2016

Division in Charge

  • Information Dissemination and Policy Promotion Division, Japan Patent Office
  • Intellectual Property Division, Food Industry Affairs Bureau, MAFF
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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