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JPO Agreed with INPI to Expand Cooperation in the Field of Industrial Property

On August 1, 2017, the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the National Institute of Industrial Property of Brazil (INPI) agreed on a memorandum of cooperation to expand JPO-INPI cooperation in the field of industrial property. The JPO will continue to further make efforts, in cooperation with the INPI, to establish the environment in which Japanese companies can obtain IP rights smoothly and the IP rights are protected properly in Brazil.

1. Background

As Brazil boasts the largest economic scale and population in South America, global society recognizes the country as one of the promising investment targets among emerging economies, or BRICs, considered to have high economic growth potential. Thus, many Japanese companies have been pursing business in the country, mainly in the automobile and other manufacturing industries. Along with this business development, a growing number of patent applications have been filed from Japan with INPI, accounting for approximately a three-fold increase over this decade. However, concerning the examination period, INPI requires over 10 years on average from receiving an application from applicants to sending a notice of the first examination results to them.

In April 2010, the JPO and INPI concluded a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) in the field of industrial property. Since then, the JPO has been accepting trainees from INPI and other entities in the field of industrial property, and both sides have also been advancing cooperation by a variety of means, including the launch of a JPO-INPI examiners’ exchange in 2012. Following this, in April 2017, the JPO commenced a Patent Prosecution Highway Program (PPH) with INPI, aiming to encourage Japanese companies to acquire patent rights in an accelerated manner in Brazil.*

Moreover, INPI has been advancing efforts for enhancing its organization system, e.g., formulating an Action Plan for 2017, and increased the number of patent and trademark examiners by 210 over this year.

In this situation, aiming to further expand JPO-INPI cooperation, on August 1, 2017, Ms. Naoko Munakata, Commissioner of the JPO, and Mr. Luiz Otavio Pimentel, President of INPI, signed a memorandum of cooperation on expanded cooperation in substantive examination practices, including the PPH program and examiner exchange program.

2. Outline of MOC with INPI

Through the memorandum, the JPO and INPI confirmed that they will cooperate in the following efforts. This memorandum is expected to encourage Japanese companies to further facilitate their global business development through Japan’s support in further developing the environment in Brazil for protecting the intellectual property rights of Japanese companies.

  1.  Exchanging information on IP systems and practices at the Offices, such as IP strategy, IP international treaties, legislation, regulations, guidelines and manuals, as well as on statistical data on IP administration;
  2. Cooperation on substantive examinations including the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) and the Examiner Exchange Program (enhanced initiative);
  3. Cooperation in the field of Information Technology;
  4. Cooperation in the field of human resources development for the officials of the Offices, including training;
  5. Sharing experiences and knowledge of the Offices regarding the following:
    • Overall management of the Offices including managing human resources, finances and examination quality; and
    • Activities to promote public awareness, including providing educational materials and IP information to the public;
  6. Exchanging IP data between the Offices such as gazettes;
  7. Cooperation for the strengthening of IP protection in collaboration with the relevant authorities (new initiative); and
  8. Sharing user evaluations on the IP Rights systems and practices of the Offices (new initiative).

3. Future actions

Through advancing enhanced cooperation with INPI based on the memorandum, the JPO will continue to further make efforts to establish the environment in which Japanese companies can obtain IP rights smoothly and the IP rights are protected properly in Brazil.

(MOC Signing ceremony by INPI President Pimentel and JPO Commissioner Munakata)

Release date

August 2, 2017

Division in Charge

International Cooperation Division, Policy Planning and Coordination Department, JPO

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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