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Report on the “JPO/IPR Training Course on IP Administration for LDCs”

The fourth JPO/IPR Training Course on IP Administration for LDCs was held from August 26-30, 2013.

This is the first year that this training course has been held. The objective of the course is to provide officials from intellectual property offices in least-developed countries (LDCs), or other offices with similar functions, with the opportunity to develop a more comprehensive understanding of IP administration and improve their expert knowledge and skills. This is accomplished by attending lectures on various IP-related topics (e.g. the role of IP offices, Japanese IP systems and IP strategy, IP management at private companies, and international IP issues), and by giving presentations on the IP situations in their home countries. A total of 12 officials attended the course, representing Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Laos, Malawi, Mali, Myanmar, Nepal, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda.

The trainees were so attentive, and asked so many questions, that the time scheduled for most lectures was insufficient. Although they were very satisfied with the content of the lectures, many requested that the training period be extended, saying that five days were not enough for them to absorb the wide range of topics addressed in the lectures.

A country report presentation session was held on the afternoon of the first day, where trainees gave presentations on the status of their home countries’ IP systems. Although the presentations were rather short (about ten minutes), this session allowed trainees to develop an understanding of the situations in other countries, while also encouraging communication. Some participants said that they even discussed issues raised in the presentations while traveling to and from the training center.

The lectures became very interactive on the second and third days, with trainees eager to ask questions, and lecturers earnest in answering them. The trainees said that they found the lectures on Japanese IP strategy and international IP issues to be particularly informative. This may reflect the fact that the training course focused on officials of LDCs that are greatly interested in genetic resources and geographical indications.

On the afternoon of the fourth day, trainees visited Amcon, Inc. in Yokohama. Although this company is not especially large, it is recognized as an active user of IP in the creation of innovative products. It was selected as one of the top 300 most active monoduzkuri (manufacturing) SMEs in FY2009, and the Japan Patent Office (JPO) cited its use of IP rights as one example in FY2012.

The trainees first attended a lecture given by an Amcon official regarding the company's technology and IP strategy, and were then given a tour of its factory. They expressed great interest in the management abilities of Amcon, a company that is moderately sized but that has been expanding its global market share through outstanding technology. Some trainees even requested that the company launch businesses in their countries, where sludge treatment technology was needed.

In the evaluation meeting on the last day, some trainees stated that they were very satisfied with rich content of the training, and that they had been able to acquire a diverse array of knowledge that they could then utilize in their home countries. As all of the trainees came from countries with great potential for development, it is hoped that they will play an active role in further upgrading their own IP systems in the future.

Group photo

Group photo

scenery at the training

scenery at the training

Group photo

Group photo


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