July 9, 2020
On July 8, 2020, the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the intellectual property (IP) offices of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Member States held the Tenth Japan-ASEAN Heads of Intellectual Property Offices Meeting via video conference. At the meeting, participants agreed to inaugurate an ASEAN-Japan Patent Experts Meeting as a body to hold expert discussions on both the development of patent examination guidelines in the field of emerging technologies and on patent translation issues.
The ASEAN Member States have been advancing efforts for improving the IP environment in the ASEAN region in accordance with the ASEAN Intellectual Property Rights Action Plan 2016-2025 formulated under the framework of the ASEAN Working Group on Intellectual Property Cooperation (AWGIPC).
In accordance with these efforts, the Tenth Japan-ASEAN Heads of Intellectual Property Offices Meeting was held via video conference, aiming to further advance Japan-ASEAN IP cooperation.
2. Summary of the outcomes
With its inauguration in 2012, the Japan-ASEAN Heads of Intellectual Property Offices Meeting has been held for the tenth time this year. In the past, Japan and the ASEAN Member States achieved certain outcomes through a variety of efforts upheld in the action plans, as seen in a sharp increase in the number of ASEAN Member States which newly acceded to the Madrid Protocol, the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement and other international treaties, which resulted in contributing to international business development of Japanese companies. At the tenth meeting, on this occasion, we agreed on the FY2020 Japan-ASEAN IP Rights Action Plan, including the inauguration of an ASEAN-Japan Patent Experts Meeting which will serve as an opportunity for Japan and the ASEAN Member States to share information on the development of patent examination guidelines in the field of emerging technologies and on patent translation issues, with an eye on further enhancement of cooperative ties in the future.
Outline of the FY2020 Japan-ASEAN IP Rights Action Plan
Inauguration of an ASEAN-Japan Patent Experts Meeting to serve as an opportunity for Japan and the ASEAN Member States to share information on the development of patent examination guidelines in the field of emerging technologies and on patent translation issues;
Investigation and research by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) into patent examination systems of Japan and ASEAN Member States in the field of emerging technologies;
Cooperation in accession of ASEAN Member States to the international application system (Madrid Protocol/Hague Agreement) and cooperation in its operation;
Cooperation in human resource development and management of examination practices; and
Cooperation in IP commercialization and awareness-raising of IP.
In addition, Mr. Akira Matsunaga, Commissioner of the JPO, stated that there is no doubt that innovation will be a powerful tool against COVID-19 and, accordingly, pointed out that it is necessary for Japan and ASEAN Member States to further strengthen cooperation and together harmonize the intellectual property system itself toward promotion of innovation, and he shared the same recognition with participating ASEAN Member States.
3. Future actions
The JPO will further enrich mutual cooperation with ASEAN IP offices through holding top-level conferences and expert meetings and will proactively advance efforts for development of IP systems in ASEAN Member States and evolution of the systems. Through these efforts, the JPO will strive to contribute to encouraging and assisting Japanese companies in appropriately protecting their IP rights in the ASEAN Member States.
Division in Charge
International Policy Division, Policy Planning and Coordination Department, Japan Patent Office