August 3, 2021
The Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the intellectual property (IP) offices of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Member States held the Eleventh Japan-ASEAN Heads of Intellectual Property Offices Meeting via video conference on August 2, 2021. During the meeting, participants agreed on the FY2021 Japan-ASEAN IP Rights Action Plan. Additionally, the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) reported the results of their study on patent examination practices of AI inventions at the individual IP offices of ASEAN Member States.
ASEAN Member States have been advancing efforts to improve the IP environment in the ASEAN region in accordance with the ASEAN Intellectual Property Rights Action Plan 2016-2025, which was formulated under the framework of the ASEAN Working Group on Intellectual Property Cooperation (AWGIPC).
JPO has been cooperating in various ways over the years to support such efforts among ASEAN countries. The Eleventh Japan-ASEAN Heads of Intellectual Property Offices Meeting aimed to further deepen Japan-ASEAN cooperation in the IP field.
2. Summary of outcomes
Outline of the FY2021 Japan-ASEAN IP Rights Action Plan
Based on the details of the Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) on Intellectual Property that was concluded in 2012, the two sides agreed, while continuing the existing Japan-ASEAN cooperation, to launch new cooperative efforts. The matters agreed upon in this regard are as follows:
- Holding the second ASEAN-Japan Patent Experts Meeting to share information on the development of patent examination guidelines in the field of emerging technologies, as well as patent translation issues between Japan and ASEAN Member States;
- Investigation and research by ERIA on the current status and issues of utilization of patent information in the ASEAN region;
- Investigation and research by ERIA into the patent examination practices of JPO and IP offices in ASEAN Member States in the field of emerging technologies;
- Promotion of cooperation with the accession of ASEAN Member States to the international application system (Madrid Protocol/Hague Agreement), as well as its operation;
- Promotion of cooperation in human resource development and management of examination practices; and
- Promotion of cooperation in IP commercialization and awareness-raising with respect to IP.
Report of study results on patent examination practices of AI inventions
ERIA reported the results of their study on patent examination practices of AI inventions at the individual IP offices of ASEAN Member States. In this study, they analyzed how the cases of AI inventions that are published in the JPO Examination Handbook are judged based on the patent examination practices of ASEAN Member States’ individual IP offices. The contents of this report will also be discussed at the second ASEAN-Japan Patent Experts Meeting, to be held this September. Through this discussion, it is expected that mutual understanding and harmonization with the patent examination practice of AI inventions will be promoted among IP offices of ASEAN Member States.
3. Future actions
JPO will further enrich mutual cooperation with ASEAN IP offices by holding top-level conferences and expert meetings, and will proactively advance efforts for the development of IP systems in ASEAN Member States.
A scene in the Eleventh Japan-ASEAN Heads of Intellectual Property Offices Meeting
Division in Charge
International Policy Division, Policy Planning and Coordination Department, Japan Patent Office