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Report on the “JPO/IPR Training Course for Patent Experts”

From mid-September to early October, the beginning of autumn, the JPO-IPR Training Course for Patent Experts was held for 16 trainees from Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. After attending two days of lectures at the Overseas Human Resources and Industry Development Association (HIDA), the trainees joined five other trainees participating in the Patent Practical and Tailored Training Program (PPTT), which started on the same day as the Training Course for Patent Experts, at the Asia-Pacific Industrial Property Center (APIC). The two groups of trainees visited the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and paid a courtesy call on the JPO executive.

The two groups of trainees visited the Japan Patent Office

The two groups of trainees visited the Japan Patent Office

The lecture program at APIC started the next day. Most of the Patent Expert Course trainees were patent attorneys or IP consultants working at patent law firms and private companies. As they had already been engaged in patent-related work, such as drafting patent descriptions, for at least three years, they were able to understand the topics of the lectures from the beginning, and seemed to further develop their understanding of patent practices, including the differences between those of Japan and of their home countries, by actively questioning the lecturers.

On September 27, the Patent Expert Course trainees visited the Research and Development Center of Terumo Corporation in Kanagawa Prefecture with the PPTT trainees. The two groups of trainees visited the center's facilities and exhibition space and observed a variety of the company’s patented technologies and products. They showed great interest in the practical training facility for medical staff. After the tour of the center, they attended a lecture on Terumo's IP management. They asked more questions than it was possible to answer within the scheduled time, which demonstrated their great interest in the company's advanced medical technologies and IP management scheme. The visit seemed to be useful for all of the trainees.

Front of Terumo R&D Center entrance with PPTT trainees

Front of Terumo R&D Center entrance with PPTT trainees

In lecture sessions, most trainees actively questioned the lecturers and participated in discussions. They were particularly attentive to lectures on topics such as patent information searching and patent mapping, drafting of patent descriptions, responding to office actions, and handling infringement lawsuits. They expressed a desire for more time to participate in the exercise and case study sessions.

Comprehensive Exercise in October 3. Group Discussion 1

Comprehensive Exercise in October 3. Group Discussion 1

In the comprehensive exercise sessions, the trainees formed several groups and did a role play exercise in which they played the parts of examiners and applicants. This exercise was described as useful by many trainees. In the overall discussion session, the lecturers and trainees engaged in lively discussions. The lecturers commented that the trainees had satisfactory patent expertise and showed a positive attitude by asking many questions.

Comprehensive Exercise in October 3. Group Discussion 2

Comprehensive Exercise in October 3. Group Discussion 2

The trainees gave the training program high marks as a whole, including the degree to which it enabled them to achieve their own objectives, and they seem to have enhanced their skills in patent practice. They remarked that they wished to impart what they had learned in Japan to their colleagues and to many other persons in their home countries. These positive remarks suggest that this training program was very meaningful to them. It is hoped that the trainees will be successful in the future.

 

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Developing Country Cooperation Section

International Cooperation Division

Japan Patent Office

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