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Report on the “JICA/APEC Training Course on Patent Examination Practice”

The APEC Training Course on Patent Examination Procedures, commissioned by the independent administrative agency Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), was held from November 21 through December 12, 2012. This training course, a new event starting this fiscal year, is a personnel training and information dissemination program focusing on the work of patent examination within the APEC region.

The goals of the training course were to improve examining capability, point out ways to improve examining methods, make patent examinations in the participating countries uniform, and enable the acquisition of patents to be fair and consistent. Further, by enabling companies and other organizations to consistently obtain patents, the training course enabled a contribution to be made toward the economic development of the participating countries.

The participants in the training course were examiners from the patent offices of Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Thailand, and Vietnam. On the first day, participants were given outlines of patent examining procedures and paperless systems, and then took an inspection tour of the Japan Patent Office.

On November 26, reports were made from the participating countries, with each trainee reporting on problems in their workplaces and work procedures. These reports were then discussed, and the goals of the seminar were clarified based on advice given by the patent attorney Mr. Teshima. In this way, the participants were able to share information amongst each other.

Next, topics including examination standards, practice searches and judgment-making procedures were taught. Participants engaged in practice searches using AIPN (Advanced Industrial Property Networks) and IPDL, and expressed the viewpoint that these were very useful tools that they would like to use when searching within their daily work.

On December 3rd, participants toured the Ibaraki Breweries of ASAHI Breweries, Ltd. and learned about corporate IP management. They inspected both the factory and the research facility there, allowing them to observe first-hand the high technology processes involved in producing beer, as well as the way that cutting edge R&D is carried out at this facility. As a result, they came away with significant knowledge regarding the ways in which IP management is carried out distinctively in Japan with regard to outstanding food and biotechnology production technology.

In the overall practice session held on the morning of December 10th, participants were divided into two groups to play the roles of examiner and applicant, and then discussed novelty and inventive step in specific cases. Participants expressed the view that this practice session allowed them to understand the way other examiners think when they are making examinations, as well as how they make judgments.

In the general review discussion held on the final day, December 12th, a discussion was held regarding the problems with patents and actual examination procedures that are viewed as important in each country, as well as the differences existing among the various participant countries. The program ended with the participants expressing their resolution to effectively utilize what they learned in this seminar in their work when they return to their countries, as well as to make a report to the JICA in this regard.

Courtesy call to executive staff of the Japan Patent office

Courtesy call to executive staff of the Japan Patent office


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