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The Japan Patent Office Further Advancement to be Achieved in JPO-KIPO-SIPO Cooperation in the IP Field heads of JPO-KIPO-SIPO hold meetings

On December 7 and 8, 2016, the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) , and the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO) held heads meetings in Odawara City, Kanagawa Prefecture, namely, the 23rd Heads Meeting between the JPO and SIPO, the 28th Heads Meeting between the JPO and KIPO, and the 16th Trilateral Policy Dialogue Meeting among the JPO, KIPO and SIPO. At these meetings, the heads of the IP offices agreed to specific efforts for cooperation toward the appropriate protection of patent, industrial design, and trademark rights.

1. Background

China and the ROK have been positioned, respectively, as the first- and third-largest trade partners of Japan, accounting for one-quarter of the total import-export value of Japan. As shown by this scale, Japan has established close economic relationships with China and the ROK. Moreover, the number of patent applications filed with the JPO, KIPO and SIPO in 2015 was 1.63 million, accounting for more than half of the total number of patent applications filed worldwide (2.89 million). This fact reveals that the enhanced cooperation among Japan, China and ROK is increasingly important in the development of the intellectual property (IP) systems at the global level.

In light of this recognition, the JPO has been holding the IP heads meetings on a continuous basis with SIPO since 1994, with KIPO since 1983 and with SIPO and KIPO since 2001, to enhance cooperation in the fields of patent, industrial design and trademark systems. On December 7 and 8, 2016, these three IP offices held three meetings in Odawara City, Kanagawa Prefecture, namely, the 23rd Heads Meeting between the JPO and SIPO, the 28th Heads Meeting between the JPO and KIPO, and the 16th Trilateral Policy Dialogue Meeting among the JPO, KIPO and SIPO.

In addition, taking this opportunity, the IP offices held a Japan-Korea-China IP Symposium on December 9, 2016.

2. Major achievements of the meetings

1) The 23rd Heads Meeting between the JPO and SIPO

  • Cooperation in the field of patent
    • Concerning the JPO-SIPO examiners’exchange, both sides agreed to improve the details to be discussed at the exchange.
  • Cooperation in the field of industrial designs
    • Concerning China’s accession to the Hague Agreement,* both sides agreed that the JPO will share its experience with SIPO and further promote cooperation with SIPO.
  • Cooperation in the field of human resource development
    • Both sides agreed to improve the cooperation framework for IP human-resource development organizations in both countries.

2) The 28th Heads Meeting between the JPO and KIPO

  • Cooperation in the field of industrial designs
    • Both sides agreed that they will advance cooperation in improving user friendliness in both countries concerning the Hague Agreement and in encouraging the public utilization of the agreement.
  • Cooperation in the field of trademarks
    • Both sides mentioned the exchange of the lists of regional collective trademarks and geographical indications, an effort having been conducted since 2010, and they agreed to expand the scope of the lists to newly include geographical indications and other information that have been registered under the Act on Protection of the Names of Specific Agricultural, Forestry and Fishery Products and Foodstuffs in Japan.

3) The 16th Trilateral Policy Dialogue Meeting among the JPO, KIPO and SIPO

  • Cooperation in the field of appeals and trials
    • The heads of the JPO, KIPO, and SIPO approved the results of the comparative research for the systems of trials for invalidation of patents in the three countries, and agreed to release the research results. In addition, they agreed that the IP offices will exchange information on the statistics of appeals and trials on a regular basis.

3. Japan-Korea-China IP Symposium

Taking advantage of the 16th Trilateral Policy Dialogue Meeting among the JPO, KIPO, and SIPO, JPO, KIPO, and SIPO jointly held a symposium. A speaker presented information on the latest trends in IP lawsuits, and panelists discussed the interpretation of product-by-process claims in a panel discussion.

4. Future actions

Aiming to enhance cooperation ties with the rest of the world under the various frameworks of each country and to smoothly and appropriately protect and utilize IP rights of Japanese companies at the global level, JPO will endeavor to establish the environments for the IP systems.

*Note: The Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (Geneva Act) is an international treaty aiming at the streamlining of and cost saving in industrial-design registration procedures, which are managed by the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Under this agreement, applicants for industrial designs are able to protect their industrial-design rights by batch in designated contracting parties through a single international application procedure to complete the international registration of their designs with the International Register.

Release date

December 12, 2016

Division in Charge

International Policy Division, Policy Planning and Coordination Department, Japan Patent Office

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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