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Home > International topics > Cooperation in Human Resource Development > Assistance to Developing Countries > JPO Cooperation in Human Resource Development > Training Programs(short) > Report on the “Training Course on the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights under the WIPO Funds-in-Trust /JAPAN”

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Report on the “Training Course on the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights under the WIPO Funds-in-Trust /JAPAN”

The Fiscal 2012 WIPO/JF Enforcement Training Program was held at APIC in Tokyo from November 5 to November 16, 2012.

Welcoming address by Mr. Kenichiro Natsume, Head of WIPO Japan Office

Welcoming address by Mr. Kenichiro Natsume, Head of WIPO Japan Office

The objective of this Program was to promote better understanding of the international framework of protection of intellectual property rights, ways of dealing with infringements of intellectual property rights, and the adverse effects of infringement of intellectual property rights for the purpose of enhancing enforcement capabilities. The participants consisted of 23 trainees from the courts, prosecutor`s offices and intellectual property offices of the following countries: Cambodia (2), China (2), Egypt (1), Indonesia (5), Laos (2), Morocco (1), the Philippines (2), South Africa (1), Thailand (3) and Vietnam (4).

This fiscal year's program focused on further improvement of the enforcement system currently in place in the trainees’ own countries through contrasting and comparing enforcement practices in different countries. This led to the invitation of three trainees from South Africa, in addition to the trainees from Asian countries.

The first week's curriculum was designed, at the initiative of WIPO, to comprise: lectures on the subjects of international agreements and international law and countermeasure against infringement of intellectual property rights in line with international norms, which were taught by an African honorary judge sent by WIPO, as well as IP specialists from international companies; and a public-private panel discussion between the instructors and the trainees. The second week was designed, at the initiative of the JPO, to comprise: lectures on the subject of countermeasures against infringement of intellectual property rights taken by enforcement authorities and Japanese companies; and case studies taught by officials from Japanese enforcement authorities, and patent attorneys.

For the purpose of enhancing the learning effect, country report presentations were held on the first and second days of the program, November 5th and 6th, to provide a good understanding of the current situation of regulatory control currently in place in different countries. The event provided a valuable opportunity for the trainees to gather the latest information on the efforts of enforcement offices in different countries and exchange opinions with active practitioners on the frontline. It attracted great interest, and the trainees asked the presenters many questions. Some presenters contributed their own time to answer questions beyond the 20 minutes allocated to each of them.

Country report presentations

Country report presentations

In addition, the trainees visited the JPO on November 12th and Tokyo Customs on November 15th for observation. They observed the facilities with great interest and listened to the accompanying instructors enthusiastically.

Observation of the appeals court at the JPO Observation of Tokyo Customs

Observation of the appeals court at the JPO             Observation of Tokyo Customs      

In recent years the huge expansion in international trade due to the development of methods of distribution has contributed to the spread of counterfeit/pirated goods in local markets. In this context, such fraudulent articles and their poor quality pose a threat to the health and safety of consumers, giving rise to a number of problems that may ruin the credibility and reputation of the legitimate right holders (corporations).

This is true of Asian countries that want to preclude such commercial fraud to ensure the sustainable development of their national markets. Effective regulatory control over counterfeit/pirated goods infringing intellectual property rights is a matter of the greatest urgency for enforcement authorities in these countries.

The sessions the trainees found interesting included lectures that covered the subjects of judicial precedents relating to trademark and IP-related enforcement activities under the provisions of Part III of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (presented in the form of a scenario for practical exercises), in that they were very useful in developing measures against infringement of intellectual property rights. Among others, the trainees found the sessions dealing with the latter subject most useful and informative in that it is highly effective in trade-related regulatory control over counterfeit/pirated goods.

With respect to sessions dealing with the subject of regulatory control activities, the trainees found the lecture on disposition of seized articles to be useful. They also found the panel discussion to be useful and informative. This session was intended to provide an opportunity to exchange opinions between the private and public sectors to serve as an aid in promoting necessary joint initiatives between the public and private sectors for more effective regulatory control.

Trainee feedback that deserves special mention is their stated preference for increasing the number of lectures on distribution of fraudulent articles over the Internet (crimes committed in cyberspace). As developing countries in Asia are likely to sustain more damage from infringement of intellectual property rights involved in the distribution of fraudulent articles over the Internet, driven by the recent development of information and telecommunications networks, it is advisable to increase the number of sessions dealing with this subject taking into account the needs of prospective trainees.

Taking a general view of the trainees' feedback, all of the trainees stated that they were largely able to accomplish their objectives and meet their goals in the program. We expect that they will make the most use of the knowledge and experience gained in the program in their work.

Some trainees found the program to be very useful not only for obtaining knowledge relating to enforcement practices, but also in establishing friendly relationships with fellow trainees. We heard that over the weekend they set out to various places with fellow trainees to broaden their knowledge of Japanese tradition and culture. We also heard that after the Closing Ceremony on the final day of the program, they projected onto the screen pictures taken diring their excursions not only in celebration of the completion of the program but also in a fond farewell.

We hope that the cross-border relationships established during the course will be of some help in promoting international collaboration in their activities in dealing with the infringement of intellectual property rights from the distribution of counterfeit/pirated goods.

We expect great things of them in the future.

Closing Ceremony Projected image at the Closing Ceremony

Projected image at the Closing Ceremony                  Closing Ceremony         

 

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