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The Japan Patent Office Inter-governmental Cooperation Results in Progress in the Intellectual Property Field

The 57th Series of Meetings of the Assemblies of the Member States of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) began in Geneva on October 2, 2017. As representatives of the Japan Patent Office (JPO), Ms. Naoko Munakata, Commissioner, and Mr. Kunihiko Shimano, Deputy Commissioner, attended the meeting, and Commissioner Munakata delivered a general statement at the beginning of the meeting. Taking this opportunity, the JPO held meetings with the patent offices and other relevant institutions from over 20 countries and regions,*1 and confirmed at each meeting that both sides will advance cooperation in many fields, including commencement of the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) program with Peru, resumption of the US-JP Collaborative Search Pilot Program, and exchange of patent information data with Germany.

1. Delivering a general statement at the meeting

As representatives of the JPO, Commissioner Munakata and Deputy Commissioner Shimano attended the 57th Series of Meetings of the Assemblies of the Member States of the WIPO beginning in Geneva, Switzerland, on October 2, 2017. At the beginning of the meeting, on behalf of Japan, Commissioner Munakata delivered a general statement. She drew participants’ attention to the importance of overcoming challenges brought about by new technologies and of cultivating a new era of IP systems that can be referred to as “IP 4.0 (Intellectual Property 4.0),” expressing Japan’s wishes concerning WIPO playing a significant role as an international organization.

2. Meetings with heads of the patent offices and other relevant institutions

Taking the opportunity of the 57th Series of Meetings of the Assemblies of the Member States of the WIPO, the JPO participated in the meetings of developed countries on the harmonization of patent systems, and agreed to continue discussing important issues toward achieving the harmonization of patent systems.

Furthermore, the JPO held meetings with heads of the patent offices and other relevant institutions from over 20 countries and regions. At each meeting, the JPO confirmed that both sides will continue cooperative ties, and agreed on the following matters.

(1)Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH)*2 and other cooperation in examination practices

[ⅰ]Commencement of the PPH program with Peru
The JPO and Peru agreed to launch a PPH program on a trial basis from November 1, 2017. Peru is the fifth country in South America with which the JPO launched a PPH program, following Colombia, Argentina, Brazil and Chile bringing the number of countries that have launched the program with Japan to 40. This agreement will help IP users to acquire patent rights in Peru in an accelerated manner.

[ⅱ]Outline of the US-JP Collaborative Search Pilot Program
The JPO and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) agreed that they will resume the US-JP Collaborative Search Pilot Program on November 1, 2017, under the new operation. This effort will help Japanese companies to continue to win more robust, stable patent rights in an accelerated, simultaneous manner both in Japan and the U.S.

(2)Exchanging data on patent information with Germany

The JPO will expand efforts toward exchanging data on patent information with the German Patent and Trade Mark Office, which was launched in 2016, in order to embark on the development of a machine translation system from German to Japanese (German-Japanese machine translation system) that expands the scope of use concerning the received data. Through research and development involved in this effort, the JPO will strive to advance discussions in order to make German-Japanese translations available to public users.

(3)Enhancement of cooperation in the IP field

[ⅰ]Canada
The JPO concluded a memorandum of cooperation in the IP field with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO). Both sides decided to advance information exchange and other efforts concerning their IP systems and measures and enhance their relationship.

[ⅱ]Egypt
The JPO and the Egyptian Patent Office (EGPO) have been deepening their cooperative relationship as seen in JPO’s continuous invitation of Egyptian examiners to IP training programs in Japan and the conclusion of a memorandum of cooperation between the JPO and EGPO in the field of patents in FY2015. At this meeting, both sides concluded a new memorandum of cooperation in the fields of designs and trademarks, mainly focused on acceleration and quality enhancement of examination practices, sharing information on statistical data, laws, regulations, and other rules; human resource development involving enforcement initiatives concerning industrial property and other issues. Through this effort, both sides decided to enhance their mutual relationship.

3. Future actions

Taking advantage of the achievements in these meetings, the JPO will continue to promote international IP cooperation so that IP users in Japan and other countries are able to economically and predictably acquire global patent and other IP rights worldwide.

*Notes:

1:The JPO held the following meetings: bilateral meetings with the patent offices and other relevant institutions in the United States, the U.K., the ROK, Canada, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Russia, India, Egypt, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Viet Nam and other countries as well as the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, Germany; meetings with the European Patent Office, the European Union Intellectual Property Office, the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization, and the Organisation Africaine de la Propriete Intellectuelle; and, multiple meetings with ASEAN economies, etc.

2:The PPH enables an application whose claims 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 an applicant on the basis of bilateral office agreements.

Release date

October 6, 2017

Division in Charge

International Policy Division & International Cooperation 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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