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Report on the “JPO/IPR Training Course for Advanced IP Protection Practitioners”

The second JPO/IPR Training Course for "Advanced IP Protection Practitioners" was held for three weeks from July 8 to July 26, 2013.

This course is given annually and aims at enabling participants to gain comprehensive understanding of and better expertise in the IPR practices. Participants are provided with lectures and discussion sessions dealing with various topics including corporate IP management methods, IPR laws and patent/trademark registration practices. This year, the course was participated in by 15 persons from seven countries including Brazil, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam. These participants were company or law firm personnel dealing with prior art search, IPR registration, IPR infringement handling and licensing negotiation, and members from universities or other institutions providing IP-related lectures and practical training.

The training course was mainly focused on patent/trademark practices. Additionally given were lectures on know-how management relating to the Design Act and the Unfair Competition Prevention Act, and a case study of actual corporate IP management. Not only seminar room lectures but also exercises such as IPDL database search on computers were given. According to the feedback from participants, these exercises were be very useful.

Participants attended all lectures with diligence and exercised their efforts in finding solutions for their respective businesses and gaining new knowledge. At the Q&A session after the lecture, many inquiries were made by the participants. This shows the participants' enthusiasm toward the training course. The teachers commented that they were impressed by the excellent high-level questions made by the participants.

On July 19, the participants made a tour visit to Surpass Industry Co., Ltd. Unlike the prior courses which mainly visited large companies, we also considered SMEs and venture companies as candidates. Surpass Industry was nominated for the "awards for a good-standing company utilizing the industrial property rights system" (intellectual property achievement award), and received the award from the METI Minister (awards for a good-standing company utilizing patents). It was also introduced as one of the fifty companies in "Ganbaro Nippon! Successful Examples of Intellectual Property Rights Utilization 2011." Considering these achievements, we contacted the company and arranged this tour visit as we were convinced that it would be the best choice for offering useful experience for the participants.

On the day of the company tour, the staff member from Surpass Industry kindly made detailed explanations on the corporate IP strategies, presenting some example cases and product samples. The staff member also guided the participants to the plant. Participants appreciated this tour as an opportunity for an on-site study of corporate IP management. One of the participants made a positive comment as follows: "It was very impressive to learn the company's IP strategy, which is based on the posture that even an SME can gain a strong market position by developing a one-and-only technology and retaining IPR to utilize such technology."

Group photo

Group photo

At the overall discussion held in the morning of the last day, an example case scenario of a dispute between two parties was discussed. The participants were divided into two groups and they had discussions taking up the positions of each side of the two parties. As participants were informed about the example case at the beginning of the training course, they were able to make discussions after making preparation in advance. At the discussion, points of various issues were presented, including the issues of whether the parties' agreement complied with the know-how rules or whether the licensing agreement was free from any defect. Each participant actively presented their opinions.

scenery at the training

scenery at the training

The discussion session was very well-received by the participants. We received various feedback such as "By discussing the example case from the two different aspects, I was able to gain an overall understanding of the scenario and points of issues," "The discussion session was very interesting as I was able to accurately gauge how well I understood all of the lectures," and "It was a very interesting discussion as an opportunity for gaining better understanding of the specific points to keep in mind for negotiating IP-related agreements such as licensing agreements."

At the feedback meeting, the participants made comments such as "I was able to achieve the goal I set at the beginning of the training course" and "After I go back home, I want to put into practical use the knowledge and experience I gained during this training course." We hope for the participants' success in the future.

Group photo

Group photo


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