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Home > International topics > Cooperation in Human Resource Development > Assistance to Developing Countries > JPO Cooperation in Human Resource Development > Training Programs(short) > Report on the “Training Course on the Examination Practice of Industrial Property (Intermediate/Advanced Program) Under the WIPO Funds-in-Trust/Japan”

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Report on the “Training Course on the Examination Practice of Industrial Property (Intermediate/Advanced Program) Under the WIPO Funds-in-Trust/Japan”

FY2013 marked second time of the WIPO Training Course on the Examination Practice of Industrial Property (Intermediate/Advanced Program) Under the WIPO Funds-in-Trust/Japan, which was held at APIC, Tokyo, from November 11th to the 22nd. A total of 22 government officials from ten developing countries participated in this course.

This training course is designed to provide examiners in developing countries with the opportunity to improve their expertise and skills necessary for conducting expeditious and appropriate examination. For this objective, the trainees were divided into three groups based on the types of intellectual property rights in which they specialized:, "patent," "design," and "trademark." They attended lectures and OJT programs in order to gain a better understanding of the related laws and regulations, examination guidelines and practices, and case studies. Among the several types of training courses sponsored by the WIPO Funds-in-Trust/Japan, this is the only course that requires three years or more of experience in handling substantive examination as a qualification for participation. Thus, as its name suggests, it is an "advanced" course for examiners.

scenery at the training

scenery at the training

On the first day of the course the trainees attended an orientation session and a general lecture at APIC. Then they moved to the Japan Patent Office and toured the building, seeing the appeals courtroom, the floor where the National Center for Industrial Property Information and Training (INPIT) is located, and the application reception counter.

scenery at the training scenery at the training

scenery at the training

Specialized training programs started on the second day, separately for the "Patent," "Design" and "Trademark" groups. Instructors assigned to each group were JPO officials currently serving as examiners as well as external experts including patent attorneys with past experience as JPO examiners. The curriculum consisted of lecture programs focused on examination guidelines and practices, in combination with exercise programs such as case studies and OJT programs. As each group was small, consisting of only six to nine trainees, there surely was sufficient time for trainees to ask questions to instructors and hold discussions. In the OJT program in particular, the instructors in charge provided practical exercises for the trainees while checking the level of their understanding.

While the composition of the curriculum was mostly the same among the three groups, the details of the programs varied for each group as they reflected the views of the examination department in charge of the group.

Trademark Group Design Group

Trademark Group                         Design Group   

The Patent group allocated the first four days to lecture programs by external experts including patent attorneys. The main topic of the lectures was examination guidelines, while international applications and patent right infringement were also covered. During the following four days, JPO patent examiners provided exercise programs, including search exercises, case studies and OJT programs. The exercise programs were also attended by five additional persons (three from Brazil and two from India) who were participating in another training program, the Patent Practical and Tailored Training Program (PPTT). Their participation enhanced communication among trainees. The OJT program received a high evaluation from the participants.

Unlike the Patent Group, the curriculum of the Design Group was not clearly divided into lecture and exercise programs. It was rather arranged by first providing lecture programs focused on examination guidelines and practices, then an OJT program, and then lecture programs again which addressed topics such as design right infringement, application management, and the design law and related laws. As for the composition of the instructors, external experts including patent attorneys were basically assigned to lecture programs and JPO design examiners were assigned to OJT and other exercise programs, with some lecture programs having been provided by design examiners (design application documents and examination guidelines). One thing of particular mention for the Design Group's curriculum was that its OJT program was held for two days, which was the longest among the three groups. Furthermore, trainees in this group had the chance to visit a private patent firm, Aoyama and Partners, and see in-person how Japanese patent attorneys were dealing with the work for filing applications. They also attended a lecture given by a person from Honda Motor, Co., Ltd. about the company's design strategy.

The Trademark Group's curriculum was the same as the Design Group's in that lecture programs were assigned to both JPO trademark examiners and external experts, with the OJT program being inserted between the lecture programs, and that a person from a private company gave a lecture regarding the company's trademark management policy and measures against counterfeit products. What was unique to the Trademark Group's curriculum was that while the Patent and Design Groups allocated two days to lectures on examination guidelines, the Trademark Group allocated only one day to this topic, and during the rest of the training period it focused on other topics that examiners should be well-acquainted with, such as the trial system, well-known and famous trademarks, an outline of the Madrid Protocol, regional economy and brand strategy, trademark right infringement, and the Unfair Competition Prevention Law. Thus, this group's curriculum was rich in variety overall. In particular, only this group among the three arranged a session in which trainees reported on the systems of their own country and held discussions, which was well-received by the trainees.

On the last day of the course, all trainees jointly visited Toppan Printing, Co., Ltd. and the Printing Museum affiliated thereto, and attended the evaluation meeting and closing ceremony.

Upon visiting Toppan Printing, the trainees formed a tour group of 33 persons in total, including the five PPTT trainees, two long-term research fellows (from Indonesia and Myanmar), and four persons from the APIC Office (including one interpreter). They listened to a lecture on the company's IP management and anti-counterfeiting measures, and learned about its history while viewing the Printing Museum. As it was the foliage season, walking along the ginkgo trees with beautifully colored leaves must have created a good memory for them.

Front of Toppan Printing, Co., Ltd.

Front of Toppan Printing, Co., Ltd.

At the evaluation meeting, issues such as which program was highly helpful for individual trainees to attain their own training objectives and which point of the training curriculum should be improved were discussed.

Evaluation meeting

Evaluation meeting

Programs that received high evaluation from many trainees were the exercise programs such as OJT programs and search exercises. This result was common to all three groups. The useful feature of each group's training that the trainees commended was the discussion with instructors in the Patent Group, the all-inclusive curriculum in the Design Group, and the lecture programs in the Trademark Group. The curricula in this training course seem to have been well evaluated on the whole.

Trainees also mentioned requests for improvements, such as that the OJT program should be extended and the programs should be more diversified based on their needs. Some suggested that the discussion session should be enhanced so that the trainees would be able to compare the systems of their country with other countries.

While staying in Japan, the trainees seemed to have enjoyed Japanese culture by traveling to various places on holidays, in addition to studying intellect property.We hope for their further success in the future.

Closing Ceremony

Closing Ceremony

 

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