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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 “WIPO/JF Training Course for Patent Examiners in the Field of Computer Programs”

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Report on the “WIPO/JF Training Course for Patent Examiners in the Field of Computer Programs”

A WIPO/JF training course for computer programs was held in which 13 people participated from China, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Morocco, Philippines, Singapore, Turkey, and Vietnam.

The trainees were patent examiners in IP bureaus of their own countries who are in charge of computer programs, which is one of the technology fields specified by the Japan Patent Office. The training dealt with Japanese patent examination guidelines and procedures, and focused on computer program patents.

On the first day morning of the course, the trainees took tours of the Japan Patent Office’s Appeal Court, the National Center for Industrial Property Information and Training, and the examination office in charge of the field of computer programs. Specifically, at this examination office, examiners who currently perform examination procedures, Mr. Endo and Mr. Bando, explained about the examination procedures and also demonstrated how to use the patent examiner computer terminal. Questions and answers mainly about procedures were actively exchanged between them and the trainees.

scenery at the training

scenery at the training

The topics of the course in the afternoon were the latest technological trends, emerging technologies of interest, and notable cases involving computer programs. Professor Minagawa of the Professional Graduate School of the Tokyo University of Science gave the trainees a presentation on the latest technological trends introducing patent application and registration statistics of the computer programs field in recent years. Questions were asked by the trainees about the meaning of statistical values and Professor Minagawa answered with thorough explanations.

The second day of the course started with a lecture by Mr. Endo and Mr. Bando of JPO, who also gave a brief explanation at the tour of the examination office on the first day. The lecture was about Japanese patent examination procedures and standards, introducing specific cases as they proceeded. The trainees seemed to have an easy time asking the two lecturers questions regarding examination procedures, because the trainees and lecturers both are patent examiners. A discussion session was provided for the trainees, which made the course lively. The trainees made a request for more time for this session at the evaluation meeting on the final day. Judging from such request, one can surmise that this was a meaningful course for the trainees.

In the afternoon Mr. Kobayashi, a patent attorney of Chie no Mi (fruit of wisdom) International Patent Office, gave a lecture comparing the patent examination procedures of Japan, U.S., and Europe. He previously served as the head of the First Patent Examination Department of the Japan Patent Office. With his expert knowledge in patent examination, he earnestly answered various questions asked by the trainees.

On the third day of the course, Mr. Tsuruya, a patent attorney of Itoh International Patent Office, gave a lecture studying the examination procedures (novelty and inventive step) applied to actual cases. In his class, Mr. Tsuruya discussed some case studies in Japan with the trainees, asking how such cases would be handled if they were cases of their own countries. The trainees showed that they had expanded their background knowledge, understanding not only the examination procedures of Japan but also the examination standards for all of the nine participating countries.

scenery at the training

scenery at the training

On the fourth day of the course, the trainees were taken on a company tour, of the showroom of Hitachi, Ltd. Various tools were introduced to the trainees which are among the technological projects of Hitachi intended to contribute to "Cyber Government". The tour allowed them to see new technologies of Hitachi to be introduced in their countries, since almost everything introduced is being planned for launch into overseas markets. Moreover, Hitachi staff also gave the trainees a lecture on Hitachi’s measures for the management of intellectual property, including the computer programs field. Many questions were asked by the trainees and Hitachi provided answers to resolve any doubts or confusion that the trainees had.

scenery at the training

scenery at the training

At a seminar on patent information search given on the fifth day, Mr. Ito, a patent attorney at TMI Associates, introduced conceptual approaches to prior art patent search, discussing the types of tools used and how they are used. Hands-on instruction was given, with some actual cases being assigned to the trainees which they worked on to come up with their own answers. There were many requests by the trainees that more time be given to this session.

Group photo

Group photo

In the morning of the last day of the course, Mr. Oguri, a patent attorney at Eikoh Patent Firm, gave a lecture analyzing examples of patent disputes. Some famous examples of patent dispute were introduced in the lecture. Because of the total increase of such disputes in recent years, more cases are difficult to judge. The trainees, however, were deeply interested in the lecture, especially in cases discussed where the results of the patent examination and verdict of the patent dispute trial were different.

Many trainees expressed the view that the curriculum of the training course was very meaningful, and both the personnel in charge of the training and the trainees felt that the course significantly contributed to the trainees' future growth. However, since the trainees are examiners who are currently conducting patent examinations, they felt that training may have been better with more hands-on exercises provided.

scenery at the training

scenery at the training

We believe that in this training course, the trainees achieved remarkable progress, and look forward to seeing their future achievements.

 

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