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Report on the “JPO/IPR Training Course on Patent Examination Practices for ASEAN”

The JPO-IPR ASEAN Patent Examiner Training Program was held at the Asia-Pacific Industrial Property Center (APIC) in Tokyo from July 22 to August 2, 2013. Sixteen intellectual property officials from eight ASEAN member countries (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) - all patent examination practitioners - participated in the program.

The program was two weeks in length, as it was the previous year when the program was first extended in order to improve trainees' patent examination capabilities. The program curricula included a country report presentation session and a case study session (focusing on patent examination practices, such as amendments), both added the previous year, and for the first time this year also included a new lecture outlining trial procedures.

The country report presentation session provided trainees with an opportunity to acquire the most up-to-date information on the IP systems and IP offices of other countries. Following the presentation session, the trainees engaged in lively discussions. They seemed greatly interested in collecting IP information on other countries, including Japan, along with the establishment of global IP networks such as the ASEAN Patent Examination Co-operation (ASPEC) program.

In the Patent Information Retrieval Exercise the trainees worked to upgrade their skills in patent information retrieval through lectures on FI and F-terms and by doing an exercise using the Industrial Property Digital Library (IPDL) and the Advanced Industrial Property Network (AIPN). Some trainees already had experience using the IPDL/AIPN in their daily work to some extent and others were beginners, but by the time the exercise was finished, almost all of the trainees seemed to understand how to use these tools and had acquired useful insights. As this was only a half-day exercise, many trainees remarked that they wished they had more time to do it.

As part of the company visitation program the trainees went on an informational tour of the Toshiba Science Museum, where they were exposed to the IP strategy of a globally renowned company. This tour seemed to greatly interest the trainees. In the lecture session, they asked many questions that went to the heart of Toshiba's IP strategy. The trainees also visited the exhibition area, and while inspecting the Toshiba home electrical appliances displayed there, they may have come to understand the background of Japan's rapid progress as a scientific and technological powerhouse through its period of rapid economic growth. At the same time, 3D mechanisms were put on display as a special summer event, and many trainees viewed these with great interest.

Furthermore, through a lecture given by three JPO examiners and a lecture on the trial system given by JPO Trial Division staff, the trainees learned a great deal about actual JPO practices.

On July 29 the trainees met with the newly assigned JPO Commissioner who had taken office on July 1, and on August 1 they also met with the Vice Chairperson of the Japan Institute for Promoting Invention and Innovation (JIII), who had formerly held the office of JPO Commissioner. In these meetings the trainees made remarks from the standpoint of examiners from their countries and exchanged frank views with these Japanese persons. It is hoped that the trainees will be successful in the future.

Country report presentation session

Country report presentation session

At the lecture outlining the trial system

At the lecture outlining the trial system

Visit to Toshiba Science Museum

Visit to Toshiba Science Museum

An Indonesian trainee making a speech at the closing ceremony

An Indonesian trainee making a speech at the closing ceremony

 

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