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

The JPO/IPR Training Course for IP Protection Lawyers was held at APIC (Association for Promotion of International Cooperation) in Tokyo from October 7 to 25, 2013.

This was the final JPO/IPR training course held this fiscal year. Its goals were to deepen understanding of intellectual property (IP) rights and to heighten specialized abilities needed by IP Protection Lawyers, through the comparison of the legal systems of various countries and through the study of methods for identifying infringement of industrial property rights (interpretation of the technical range of the invention to be patented) and the study of IP rights infringement lawsuit case precedents. 19 persons from courts and IP bureaus of the following countries participated.

Participating countries: Brazil (2 persons), China (3), India (1), Indonesia (3), Malaysia (3), the Philippines (3), Thailand (3), Vietnam (1)

With the globalization of the economy, the expansion of operations into foreign countries has for some time been an important component of corporate strategy. Companies are advancing into many countries of Asia at a tremendous pace, which means that there is an urgent need to train new lawyers and attorneys to plan and carry out strategies to combat infringement there.

With this background, the trainees in this course were all extremely diligent, listening intently to the lectures from the first day onward. In addition, they had many questions for the instructors. Their enthusiasm for learning continued up through the last day, indicating how important the content of this course was to them.

The high quality of these trainees also attested to in the evaluations of instructors in charge of the various classes in this course. The instructors expressed the opinion that these trainees were of a higher level than those of any of the previous courses they taught.

Because this course was for IP Protection Lawyers whose competence in IP and specialized abilities are high, and in order to facilitate the utilization of what they learned in their work when they returned to their native countries, at the half-way point in the course, they were divided into a patent field group and a trademark field group. Each group received lectures in that specialized field; this was a major distinguishing characteristic of the curriculum of this course.

This division of the trainees into specialized fields was evaluated highly by the trainees. Among the lectures of this second half of the course, those outlining examination standards of patents and trademarks were the most highly evaluated by the respective groups.

However, on the last day for lectures to the two groups, a large typhoon hit Japan, forcing the lectures on case studies of infringement scheduled for that morning to be cancelled. Many trainees expressed great disappointment that the time allotted for conveying such useful knowledge was cut, though they understood that there was no other choice.

Classes in progress Classes in progress

Classes in progress

In addition to lecture classes, there were discussions and visits to the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Intellectual Property High Court, a corporation, and a patent firms.

In the discussions, there were lively exchanges of views among the trainees. In addition to the usual discussions, in the training course for IP Protection Lawyers held this fiscal year, the trainees were divided into three groups for smaller group discussions. This was highly evaluated by the trainees.

Visiting JPO Appeal Court A group discussion

Visiting JPO Appeal Court                       A group discussion    

Looking at the evaluations of this course, all trainees replied that the overall goals of the course were achieved, and it is expected that they will actively make use of what they learned and experienced here in their work in their native countries.

Those involved in this course received the strong impression that strong friendships transcending national differences were created, based on a common pursuit of IP protection. During breaks between classes, everyone got together in the lounges and developed social bonds reaching across national borders. This was an important accomplishment for them.

We expect that these trainees will accomplish much in the future.

Closing ceremony

Closing ceremony


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