The Japan Patent Office Inter-governmental Cooperation Results in Progress in the Intellectual Property Field
The Japan Patent Office (JPO) participated in the 56th Series of Meetings of the Assemblies of the Member States of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which was held in Geneva from October 3, 2016. Taking this opportunity, the JPO held meetings with the patent offices and other relevant institutions of more than 20 countries and regions* and confirmed Japan’s cooperation with them in many fields. The JPO will continue promoting international cooperation in the intellectual property (IP) field to enable IP users to acquire global patent and other IP rights with high predictability at low cost.
With the globalization of the economy, there has been an increasing need for Japanese enterprises to protect their technologies abroad. The number of patent applications to overseas jurisdictions from Japan has also been increasing. In order to alleviate these concerns, the JPO has been building cooperative relationships with the patent offices of overseas countries, which are important destinations of business expansion and production for Japanese enterprises. Taking advantage of attending the 56th WIPO Meetings from October 3, 2016, the JPO also participated in additional meetings, including the meeting of developed countries as well as meetings with the top officials of the patent offices and other relevant institutions of more than 20 countries and regions, and confirmed Japan’s cooperation with them in many fields.
2. Summary of main results
The JPO participated in the meetings of developed countries on the harmonization of patent systems, and agreed to continue discussing important issues toward the harmonization. Furthermore, the JPO confirmed its ongoing cooperative relationships in bilateral meetings, etc., and reached new agreements on the following matters.
1) Launching a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) program** with Argentina
The JPO and Argentina agreed to launch a PPH program on a trial basis on April 1, 2017. Argentina is the second country following Columbia with which the JPO has concluded a PPH agreement in South America, bringing the number of countries that have launched the program with Japan to 36. This agreement will enable IP users to acquire patent rights in Argentina in an accelerated manner.
2) Exchanging data on patent information with Germany
The JPO will improve the effort for exchanging data on patent information with the German Patent and Trade Mark Office and will start a new effort for receiving data on gazettes for patent, utility model and other IP. This exchange will enable IP users to more efficiently utilize gazette data as information for use in examination. In addition, public users will also be able to access gazette data of Germany through the J-PlatPat database.
3) Enhancement of cooperation in the IP field
- Lao PDR
- The JPO and the Department of Intellectual Property of Lao PDR concluded a Memorandum of Cooperation for Facilitating Patent Grant (CPG),*** starting the cooperation on November 1, 2016. As the JPO has already launched the CPG with Cambodia, this conclusion will enable IP users to acquire patent rights in Lao PDR as well as Cambodia, concerning the applications corresponding to those already registered in Japan, in an accelerated manner.
- The JPO and the National Institute of Industrial Property of Chile have been deepening their cooperative relationship, including Japan’s continuous invitation of patent examiners in Chile to training courses. Taking the opportunity of the meetings, both sides concluded a memorandum of cooperation to further fortify the cooperative relationship in a variety of fields, including promoting the understanding of IP systems in both countries, cooperation in the field of human resource development, and promoting the awareness raising concerning the importance of industrial property rights.
- The JPO and the Turkish Patent Institute have been deepening their cooperative relationship, as is seen in a Japan’s effort for holding a seminar concerning the IP system in Turkey in May 2016, targeting IP users. Taking the opportunity of the meetings, both sides concluded a memorandum of cooperation to further fortify the cooperative relationship in a variety of fields, including promoting the understanding of IP systems and their operation in both countries, improving IP systems through interoffice cooperation toward the introduction of a PPH program and cooperation in the field of human resource development, and facilitating social exchange with IP users through information conveyance from the offices.
3. Future actions
Taking advantage of the achievements in a series of the meetings, the JPO will endeavor to promote international cooperation in the field of IP so that users of IP systems in Japan and other countries are able to acquire global patent and other IP rights with high predictability at low cost.
*1: The JPO held bilateral meetings with patent offices and other organizations in the United States, the U.K., the ROK, Canada, Australia, Sweden, India, Israel, Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, South Africa and Lao PDR, and other countries, meetings with the European Patent Office and the European Union Intellectual Property Office, and multiple meetings with the rest of the IP 5 offices as well as with patent offices and other organizations in ASEAN economies, etc.
**2: The PPH program enables an applicant whose application have been determined to be patentable by the Office of First Filing (OFF) to undergo an accelerated examination in the Office of Second Filing (OSF) with a simple procedure upon request from the applicant on the basis of bilateral office agreements.
***3: In this cooperation, an applicant who has acquired a patent right concerning an application filed with and examined in the JPO will be able to acquire another patent right when filing an application corresponding to the former application with a partner office substantially with no examination.
October 7, 2016
Division in Charge
International Policy Division & International Cooperation Division, Policy Planning and Coordination Department, Japan Patent Office