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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 “WIPO/JF Training Course on Industrial Property Examination (Basic Program)”

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Report on the “WIPO/JF Training Course on Industrial Property Examination (Basic Program)”

For two weeks from January 20 to 31, the WIPO/JF Seminar (Beginning Course on Examination) was held. The goals of this course are to deepen fundamental understanding of Japanese patent and trademark laws in broad outline, examination standards and procedures, and international frameworks for IP protection such as PCT and the Madrid Protocol, and building upon this knowledge, to become familiar with more advanced operations such as measures to deal with infringements, thus imparting knowledge that will be helpful in improving the examination procedures by patent and trademark examiners in various other countries.

This year's seminar was given for patent and trademark examiners at IP Bureaus in various countries of Asia and Africa (no restrictions were placed on their years of examining experience). There were 19 participants from 14 countries: Cambodia, Ghana, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.

The participants who are patent examiners were separated from those who are trademark examiners, and the curriculums for these two groups were almost completely different. Each started with an outline of the fundamental law, and after that it was possible for the participants to learn step-by-step about examination standards and procedures through classes which included practice exercises. The second half of the seminar built upon this basic knowledge, with studies of infringement case precedents and study trips to corporations to learn about their IP management and to patent/trademark firms to observe their operations.

Members of both groups asked incisive questions during these classes, and these exchanges between student and teacher appeared to aid in the understanding of the other students as well. During breaks, they had individual questions for the instructor and they also discussed issues among themselves. All the students actively participated, showing eagerness to learn.

The seminar participants at the Saitama Factory of Honda Motor Co.

The seminar participants at the Saitama Factory of Honda Motor Co.

On Friday of the first week, all the students visited the Saitama Factory of Honda Motor Co., where they listened to a lecture on intellectual property management and had a tour of the factory. They were deeply impressed with the great care and sweeping approach this company takes in protecting its IP. During their tour of the factory, they were amazed that one production line assembles many different types of automobiles at the same time. They greatly admired this system which supplies and incorporates the right parts into each car without mistake.

On the morning of the last day, the patent group visited Soei Patent & Law Firm (Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo) and the trademark group visited TMI Associates (Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo), where they listened to lectures about the operations and roles of patent/trademark firms and observed how work is actually conducted at these offices. Both of these firms are located on high floors of tall office buildings, and the students firstly were enchanted by the wonderful view out the windows. Both during the lectures and during the tours, the students were able to directly ask patent attorneys about their actual work, and the students listened intently to the replies that they received.

On the afternoon of that last day, a seminar evaluation meeting was held. The evaluation of the seminar as a whole was high, with the two-way communication teaching style of the instructors being especially praised. They remarked that they gained much knowledge that will be of use when they return to their countries. Asked how this seminar could be improved, persons in the patent group suggested that more time be allotted for amendment and infringement cases, and persons in the trademark group suggested that more time be devoted to classification, searches, etc. After this meeting there was a Closing Ceremony, where each student received a Certificate of Completion of the Seminar.

The participants after the Closing Ceremony

The participants after the Closing Ceremony

As stated above, persons from 14 varied countries, chiefly in Asia and Africa, participated in this seminar, and they interacted with enthusiasm. After class, they went sightseeing together to many different kinds of places, enjoying Japanese culture. While talking about the differences between their own countries and Japan in culture and life style, they deepened their ties of friendship. We anticipate that these students will continue to correspond with each other after they return home.

 

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