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7th Meeting of the Japan-China Joint IP Working Group and 2nd Japan-China Joint IP Seminar Held

January 24, 2019

On January 22, 2019, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) held the 7th Meeting of the Japan-China Joint IP Working Group (hereinafter referred to as the “IP WG”) in Tokyo. This meeting is part of the efforts in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding on Exchanges and Cooperation for the Protection of Intellectual Property (IP) Rights agreed to in June 2009 between the METI Minister and the Minister of Commerce (MOFCOM), China, and was held for the first time since the Tokyo meeting in December 2017. Taking this opportunity, in the afternoon of January 23, Japan and China held the second Japan-China Joint IP Seminar the same venue.

1. Outline of the IP WG

Under the co-chairmanship of Mr. Satoshi Ouchi, Deputy Director-General for Labour and Human Resources, METI, and Mr. Jun Ye, Deputy Director General of the Department of Treaty and Law, MOFCOM, the 7th IP WG brought together officials from a broad range of governmental agencies on both sides, and participants proactively exchanged views concerning a variety of issues involving IP protection so as to address the current situation where problems involved in IP protection have been becoming complex, widespread and sophisticated as illustrated by the distribution of counterfeit and pirated products online.

At the WG, participants confirmed the progress made in Japan and China since the previous meeting, in particular, the trends of IP-related legislation and future IP strategies, and exchanged opinions on: the trends in systems and legislation concerning the Unfair Competition Prevention Acts that both Japan and China revised over the past one year; cooperation concerning a geographical indications system both in Japan and China; and regulations in China over international licensing of technologies, for e.g., patents and knowhow. Moreover, China made a briefing on the recent situation of its crackdown on counterfeit and pirated products, and the two sides shared awareness of the importance of measures for protecting IP rights from online infringement, in particular. Furthermore, the two sides agreed that Japan and China will continue to cooperate in advancing projects for countermeasures against counterfeit products in third countries as countermeasures against international distribution of counterfeit products.
Finally, they agreed to hold the next, eighth, IP WG in China in 2019.

METI expects that the efforts of both sides for enriching reciprocal exchange and cooperation relationships between Japan and China in the IP field through continuous convening of the IP WG meetings will contribute to further developing environments and collaboration for IP protection in both countries.

Participating organizations in Japan and China

Japanese side

METI (Manufacturing Industries Bureau, Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau, Trade Policy Bureau, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau and the Japan Patent Office); Intellectual Property Strategy Headquarters, Cabinet Office; National Police Agency; Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ministry of Finance; National Tax Agency; Agency for Cultural Affairs; Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
(Observer: The Supreme Court of Japan and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO))

Chinese side:

MOFCOM (Department of Treaty and Law, Department of Asian Affairs and Department of Trade in Services and Commercial Services); National Copyright Administration; State Administration for Market Regulation
(Observers: The Supreme People’s Court and the China Chamber of International Commerce)

2. 2nd Japan-China Joint IP Seminar

In the afternoon of January 23, 2019, METI, JETRO and MOFCOM jointly held the 2nd Japan-China Joint IP Seminar in Tokyo, bringing together representatives from administrative and legislative agencies in Japan and China as well as related associations. This seminar was part of activities involving Japan-China cooperation in IP protection.

China explained its countermeasures against counterfeit products, recent efforts and achievements in IP enforcement, and efforts by right holders in China, while Japan explained the current situation of trademark policies, an outline of the revised Unfair Competition Prevention Act in FY2018, and enhanced crackdown on cross-border counterfeit products.