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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) Training Course on the Examination Practice of Industrial Property (Intermediate/Advanced Program)”

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Report on the “(WIPO) Training Course on the Examination Practice of Industrial Property (Intermediate/Advanced Program)”

This year’s second WIPO Japan Fund Training advanced examination course—an international training course for government officials from developing countries—was held for two weeks from November 10th to 21st, 2014 at APIC in Tokyo, wherein 25 trainees were invited from 13 countries.

This training, whereby trainees were divided into three groups according to their specialties—patents, design, and trademarks—aimed to deepen understanding on expertise and case studies regarding related laws and regulations concerning the respective rights, examination standards, and examination practices through lectures and OJT. In addition, it aimed to enhance professional expertise among examiners from developing countries, enabling them to practice swift and accurate examination. As an advanced level course, this is the only course that required at least three years’ experience in substantive examinations as an eligibility requirement for each country’s patent, design and trademark examiners.

On the first day of the training, after orientation and lectures at APIC, trainees visited the Patent Office and took a tour of the Enlarged Board of Appeal, INPIT, and the Application Window.

Beginning on the second day of the course, trainees were separated into three groups—Patents, Design, and Trademarks—where they were able to deeply study their own specialized fields. Each group’s lecturers were a combination of active JPO examiners and external experts, such as patent attorneys who were formerly JPO examiners. Each group’s curriculum included classroom lectures, mainly on examination standards and examination practice; as well as case studies and trainings that integrated OJT and other exercises. Thanks to the group training, each group was able to take sufficient time for lectures on more specialized questions and opinion exchanges. In OJT in particular, examiners leading the sessions carried out practical exercises while checking the degree of their trainees' understanding, This made the OJT itself very substantial.

Although the curricula among the different groups had much in common, the respective topic structure ideas were reflected by the examination departments in charge of each group.

The Patent Group took four days in the first half for classroom sessions led by external lecturers including patent attorneys, and mainly covered the topics of examination standards as well as international applications and patent infringement. During the four days of the second half, exercise topics such as document retrieval practice, case studies, and OJT were conducted by JPO patent examiners. In those exercise topics, trainees actively communicated with each other in addition to six other trainees from the Patent Practical and Tailored Training (PPTT) program—two from Brazil and four from India—which was held around the same time. This OJT was also a popular topic among participants.

Unlike the Patent Group, the Design Group did not clearly separate the periods for classroom lectures and exercises. Its curriculum structure was such that classroom lectures were held first—mainly on examination standards and examination practices—and after OJT exercises, classroom lectures were subsequently held again on such themes as design right infringement, application management, the Design Act, and Peripheral Law. Despite the rough rule that external teachers such as patent attorneys should be in charge of classroom lectures—while JPO design examiners should be responsible for exercises such as OJT—classes were led by a combination of examiners and external teachers. Design examiners provided some parts of lectures on examination standards, as well as on application for design registration, requests for registering designs, and drawings. Also, this group took two days for OJT—the longest period among all of the groups—as members were provided with an opportunity to observe actual application practice by a patent attorney during a visit to to the Seiwa Patent & Law Office. An introduction to corporate design strategies was additionally integrated into this group’s curriculum, as a lecturer was invited from Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

The Trademark Group had common features with the Design Group, as JPO trademark examiners and external teachers shared classroom lectures. Meanwhile, OJT exercises were provided between two series of classroom lectures, and cases of private companies’ trademark management and problems of infringing products were additionally introduced. While the Patent and Design Groups allotted two days for classroom lectures on examination standards, however, the Trademark Group took only one day for such lectures, and had a wide variety of curricular structures on the whole, highlighting knowledge that examiners should acquire outside examination practice, such as the examination system for trademarks, well-known trademarks, outline of the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, regional economy and brand strategies, trademark infringement, and the Unfair Competition Prevention Law. In particular, only this group held presentations and discussions on country reports by trainees by introducing related systems of each country, and holding a case-based meeting, which were very popular among trainees.

On the final day, trainees took a tour of Toppan Printing Co., Ltd. as well as attended an evaluation meeting and the completion ceremony.

A total of 33 trainees, including three long-term research students (from India, Indonesia, and the Philippines) and five secretariat members (including an interpreter), took the company tour—which included a lecture on the company’s Intellectual Property Management and countermeasures against counterfeit goods, as well as an introduction to the Printing Museum in order to learn about the company’s history. Since the tour was taken during autumn, it seemed that the beautiful ginkgo trees lining the road on their way to the company presented visitors with a good memento.

During the evaluation meeting, trainees held a discussion on useful topics that related to attaining their goals, and on improving points that they learned in the training. Topics that were highly valued by many trainees were the exercises, such as OJT and the document retrieval practice, which were common to all groups. Comments on useful points from each group included the following: “The discussion with the teachers was satisfactory” (from the Patent Group); “The curriculum was comprehensive overall” (from the Design Group); and “topics provided in classroom lectures were satisfactory” (from the Trademark Group). On the whole, the curriculum in this training can be considered to have been substantially appreciated. With regard to points for improvement, many trainees provided such opinions as “I hope for a longer period of OJT” and “The content should be more substantial in order to meet requests from each trainee.” Considering that related systems in respective countries are improving, there was also a request for expanding the framework of opinion exchanges so that trainees could more easily make comparisons between systems in Japan and in other countries.

In addition to advancing their study of intellectual property, trainees seemed to enjoy Japanese culture during their stay in Japan by visiting various places on their days off. I sincerely wish much continued success to the trainees who have completed the course.

Patent Group

Patent Group

Design Group

Design Group

Trademark Group

Trademark Group

Closing Ceremony

Closing Ceremony

 

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