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The JPO and the DIPP, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, India Signed an MOC in the Field of Industrial Property

On June 29, 2015, the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of India, signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) in the field of industrial property. Based on the MOC, the JPO will promote cooperation with the DIPP and improve the environment so that Japanese enterprises’ industrial property will be appropriately protected.

1. Background

India has achieved rapid economic growth in recent years. With high expectations for market expansion, India is considered to have great potential as a destination where Japan’s enterprises can also expand their business. (*1) As the number of Japanese enterprises expanding into India has been increasing every year, the number of patent applications filed from Japan with patent offices in India has dramatically increased, from around 400 applications in 2003 to 6,000 in 2013, a 15-fold increase. Due to this situation, First Action pendency (hereinafter referred to as “FA pendency”) has become longer as well. (*2)

Under such circumstances, in April 2015, Mr. Yoichi Miyazawa, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry and H.E. Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, exchanged opinions on bilateral cooperation in the field of intellectual property toward the acceleration of procedures for patent examination, and confirmed that the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry will lead the deepening of the economic relationship between Japan and India.

In addition, both ministers confirmed in a joint statement that the MOC concerning industrial property rights would contribute to further strengthening the bilateral relationship between both countries in the field.

In order to put this into action, the JPO and the DIPP signed the MOC between both offices in Tokyo on June 29, 2015. This MOC will support investment and business expansion by Japan’s industrial world in India, which is drawing attention as an emerging market, in terms of intellectual property.

(*1) According to the “Survey Report on Overseas Business Operations of Japanese Manufacturing Companies” (26th Report), which was published in November 2014 by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), India, with expectations for its high growth potential in the local market as the main factor, ranked first place, ahead of China and Indonesia, as a promising country where business can expand in the mid-term, for the first time since this survey began.

(*2) As of March 2015, FA pendency, although it varied depending on the office and technical field, was around three to six years in India (calculated based on data compiled by the Japan External Trade Organization, New Delhi).
On the other hand, FA pendency in Japan was around eleven months.

2. In the MOC, the JPO and the DIPP confirmed that they would cooperate in various fields, including the following items.

  • Sharing information concerning legal systems and operational practices
  • Development of human resources in order to improve examination capacity, including utilization of the Examiner Exchange Program
  • Technical assistance for smooth operations by acting as International Searching Authorities and International Preliminary Examining Authorities
  • Support for building IT infrastructure
  • Competence building in order to utilize information on patent examinations from other patent offices
  • Provision of information to and raising awareness with the general public

3. Future efforts

Based on the MOC, the JPO will promote cooperation with the DIPP, and improve the environment so that Japanese enterprises’ industrial property will be appropriately protected.

Meeting with Joint Secretary Rajiv Aggarwal

Release date

June 30, 2015

Division in Charge

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

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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