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Change of Current Office Name “Patent Office” under METI Regional Bureaus of Economy, Trade and Industry, etc. to “Intellectual Property Office”

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) hereby announces that it will change the current office name “Patent Office” under METI Regional Bureaus of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Okinawa General Bureau of the Cabinet Office to “Intellectual Property Office” from April 2017. Under the new name, such offices across Japan will endeavor to address cross-sectoral challenges, including trade secrets and intellectual-property issues in the field of agriculture.

1. Outline

On September 26, 2016, the Japan Patent Office compiled an Action Plan for Regional Intellectual Property Revitalization, which was prepared based on the results of discussions at the Intellectual Property Committee Meeting of the Industrial Structure Council held on the same date. Among three basic policies in the action plan, the first, titled “Implementing Local/SME Support Measures Steadily,” states that from April 2017, Japan will change the current office name “Patent Office,” under METI Regional Bureaus of Economy, Trade and Industry, and the Okinawa General Bureau of the Cabinet Office, to “Intellectual Property Office” in step with reorganization of such offices, aiming to address cross-sectoral challenges, including trade secrets and intellectual-property issues in the field of agriculture.

In response, METI will change the office name “Patent Office” under the Regional Bureaus of Economy, Trade and the Okinawa General Bureau of the Cabinet Office to “Intellectual Property Office” from April 1, 2017. These new offices will endeavor to address cross-sectoral challenges, including trade secrets and intellectual-property issues in the field of agriculture.

2. Date on which the office name will change

April 1, 2017

3. New office names

  •  Intellectual Property Office, Industrial Technology Division, Economic Policy Department, Hokkaido Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry
  • Intellectual Property Office, Industrial Technology Division, Economic Policy Department, Tohoku Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry
  • Intellectual Property Office, Industrial Technology Division, Economic Policy Department, Kanto Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry
  • Intellectual Property Office, Industrial Technology Division, Economic Policy Department, Chubu Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry
  • Intellectual Property Office, Industrial Technology Division, Economic Policy Department, Kinki Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry
  • Intellectual Property Office, Industrial Technology Division, Economic Policy Department, Chugoku Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry
  • Intellectual Property Office, Industrial Technology Division, Economic Policy Department, Shikoku Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry
  • Intellectual Property Office, Industrial Technology Division, Economic Policy Department, Kyushu Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry
  • Intellectual Property Office, Economic Policy Division, Economy, Trade and Industry Department, Okinawa General Bureau

4. Enhancement of related systems in response to the change

1) Provision of one-stop consultation services concerning intellectual property

  1. Provision of one-stop consultation services concerning intellectual property
    1. These offices will provide one-stop consultation services concerning intellectual property rights, e.g., trade secrets, standardization, geographical indications (GI), rights of seed/seedling breeders and copyrights.
  2. Collaboration with related organizations involving issues for trade secrets, standardization and regional brands
    1. These offices will endeavor to fortify collaborations with stakeholders inside and outside the offices involving efforts for encouraging SMEs to utilize trade secret and standardization systems.
    2. They will endeavor to fortify collaborations with agricultural administration offices in efforts to promote regional brands.
  3. Promoting the action plan
    1. These offices will strive to support regional areas in addressing the current situation under close collaboration with related organizations.
    2. They will advance efforts for discovering leading case examples and other outstanding initiatives in regional areas.

Release date

March 24, 2017

Division in Charge

IP Promotion 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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