The JPO reports that it has sent patent examiners as long-term experts to IP offices in ASEAN. The JPO states that it works together with “our partners in developing economies for establishing the enhanced IP infrastructure”. In this article, we look at the JPO’s Ongoing Partnership with the WIPO & Developing Countries. Update October 2022
In coordination with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), an agency in charge of administering Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA), the JPO has stationed its patent examiners in Indonesia and Vietnam on a long-term basis to aid the development of IP systems in those counties. The expatriates work to support capacity-building programs for patent examiners and assist in the consolidation of patent examination practices, including the revision of examination guidelines. Their activities contribute to the development of local businesses and the improvement in the investment environment. Such JPO endeavors go far back, such as you can read in this 2015 reference to such cooperation and the 2016 “Joint Statement on Cooperation on Industrial Property Rights for Sustainable Economic Development in ASEAN and Japan.
Kimura & Partners writes regularly on notable updates to Japanese IP law. Our focus is on Patent and Trademark law of relevance to the global SME market seeking strong IP protection in Japan. We also have a long history of supporting Japanese SMEs in Japan, and globally, using our unique approach to client relationships and “fighting on the IP Battlefield”.
Details on strengthening capacity in industrial property examination in IP Viet Nam are here. While it is specific to Vietnam, the detailed materials on the associated projects are informative as to how the JPO helps.
JPO WIPO Cooperation For Developing Countries
In fact, Cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) occurs more broadly via Funds-in-Trust Japan Industrial Property Global (FIT Japan IP Global). Japan has been making voluntary contributions to WIPO since 1987 through FIT Japan IP Global, which was established based on these contributions.
Cooperation Details. As stated by the JPO.
At the time it was established, the geographical areas supported by the FIT Japan IP Global fund were limited to the Asia-Pacific region; however, in 2008 Africa also was included as a geographical area. Furthermore, in 2019, the fund’s name was changed to the “Global Fund” so that it could provide support globally without any regional limitations. It has been running under that basis ever since.
Over the 35 years since it was established, Japan has contributed an aggregate amount of approximately 9 billion yen that has been used to provide support to more than 100 countries. The Fund has contributed to the development of intellectual property (IP) systems in developing countries through a variety of initiatives over the years, such as holding high-level meetings with various members of countries and regions to promote cooperation in the field of IP, sending experts to develop IP legal systems and operations, holding various workshops, and supporting the digitization of IP Offices.
The JPO also focuses on fostering human resources who will play an important role in the development of IP systems.
The Funds-in-Trust Japan IP Global, while fully using Japan’s expertise and experiences in cooperation with developing and least-developed countries in the field of IP, contributes to energizing IP ecosystems in the whole world through supporting WIPO’s activities for the following objectives:
- To establish a world in which innovations originated in developing and least-developed countries are properly protected as IP and commercialized, through establishing self-sustaining IP ecosystems in respective countries;
- To form the Global IP network through connecting systems, people, and information around IP of respective countries;
- To broaden the roles of IP for economic growth and social vibrancy through fostering deepened understanding of IP among experts in other fields and also the general public; and
- To contribute to the achievement of SDGs through promoting the diffusion of innovative technologies around the globe and implementing activities to solve global issues by using IP.
The following provides specific initiatives conducted by FIT Japan IP Global.
1. Policy Dialogues
High-level officials from the JPO, WIPO, and other IP offices in developing countries gather to exchange their views on IP policies and initiatives and discuss various issues with the aim of deepening cooperation on and improving IP systems in developing countries.
2. Sending Experts
The FIT Japan IP Global sponsors numerous workshops to help countries accede to the Patent Cooperation Treaty, the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs, and the Madrid Protocol (Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks).
3. Human Resource Development
For human resource development in developing countries, the FIT Japan IP Global offers various support programs.
4. Digitalization Support
With the aim of improving the efficiency and quality of examinations in developing countries, the FIT Japan IP Global also supports the development of IT infrastructure in developing countries.
5. Support for Utilizing Intellectual Property
In this article, we looked at the JPO’s Ongoing Partnership with the WIPO & Developing Countries. Update October 2022