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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 Industrial Property Examination (Basic Program) Under the WIPO Funds-in-Trust/JAPAN”

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Report on the “Training Course on Industrial Property Examination (Basic Program) Under the WIPO Funds-in-Trust/JAPAN”

The WIPO/JF Training Course on Intellectual Property Examination Practices (Basic Program) was held for two weeks from January 19 to 30. The trainees participating in the course were divided into two groups: Patents and Trademarks. The course was designed to outline Japan's Patent Act and Trademarks Law, and to deepen the trainees' basic knowledge about Japan's patent/trademark examination guidelines and practices. The course also covered international frameworks for intellectual property rights protection, such as the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks. Through lectures providing advanced knowledge about measures against the violation of intellectual property rights, the course further aimed at enhancing knowledge regarding examination practices conducted by patent/trademark examiners in each country.

This year's course was geared toward employees working as patent/trademark examiners (regardless of their years of experience) at government offices in charge of intellectual property rights in Asian and African countries. The course was attended by 25 people from 18 countries—Afghanistan, Algeria, Burney, Cambodia, Chile, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Peru, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe (ARIPO).

As for the training curriculum—designed to enable trainees to learn in a step-by-step manner—almost all of the schedules were arranged differently for the Patents and Trademarks groups. Specifically, the respective groups first studied an outline of the basic laws, next moved on to studying examination criteria and examination practices, and then carried out various exercises. The latter half of the curriculum incorporated more advanced contents, including case studies of violations, a visit to a company to learn about its intellectual property rights management, and study tours to patent firms to observe their actual work practices.

During the lectures, trainees in both groups asked a number of good questions. These question and answer sessions between the trainees and their lecturers also helped other trainees deepen their understanding of the topic. All the trainees engaged enthusiastically in the training, and even at break times they asked the lectures questions individually, and held discussions with other trainees.

Trainees visiting the Honda Motor Co. Ltd.'s Yorii Plant, Saitama Factory

Trainees visiting the Honda Motor Co. Ltd.'s Yorii Plant, Saitama Factory

On the Friday of the first week of the course, all trainees visited the Yorii Plant of the Saitama Factory, Honda Motor Co., Ltd., where they received lectures on the company’s intellectual property rights management and were guided around the plant. They were deeply impressed with the company’s earnest and proactive attitude toward the protection of intellectual property rights. The Yorii Plant is Honda’s newest plant, with operations commencing in 2013. The trainees were surprised to witness the state-of-the-art equipment, which was designed to realize a harmonious collaboration between factory workers and machinery, by reducing the speed of assembly line operations in accordance with the work pace of humans. The trainees were particularly interested in the system in which respective parts were prepared and assembled together without errors on the production line.

In the morning of the last day of the training, the Patents group visited the Soei Patent & Law Firm (Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo), and the Trademarks group visited the Ryuka IP Law Firm (Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo), respectively. Both groups received lectures on the services and roles of patent firms, and made study tours of the companies’ offices. Since both firms are located on an upper floor of a high-rise building, the visiting trainees were first impressed with the wonderful views seen from the windows of these offices. During the lectures and office tours, the trainees were privileged to hear directly from the patent attorneys about their actual services and practices. They listened attentively to the explanations provided by these professionals.

Trainees of the Patent group visiting the Soei Patent & Law Firm

Trainees of the Patent group visiting the Soei Patent & Law Firm

Trainees of the Trademarks group visiting the Ryuka IP Law Firm

Trainees of the Trademarks group visiting the Ryuka IP Law Firm

During the afternoon of the same day, an Evaluation Meeting was held. The trainees highly evaluated the overall training course. Notably, those lecturers who took an interactive lecturing style were particularly favorably received by the trainees. Some trainees commented that they were able to acquire a lot of knowledge that they could utilize after returning to their home countries. At the same time, a number of requests for future lectures were submitted. These included hopes for additional lectures on geographical trademark indications, securing more hours for case studies, and for opportunities to learn more about the concrete examination knowhow of JPO examiners.

The Evaluation Meeting was followed by a Closing Ceremony, at which each trainee was presented with a certificate of training program completion.

Trainees, lecturers, and other staff at the Closing Ceremony

Trainees, lecturers, and other staff at the Closing Ceremony

As mentioned earlier, this training course received participants from 18 different countries, primarily in Asia and Africa. Despite such a great diversity, the trainees enjoyed active exchanges. After completing the course, the trainees deepened their friendship by going out together to visit various places to become more familiar with Japanese culture, and talking to each other about the differences in the cultures and lifestyles of their respective countries. It is hoped that friendly exchanges between trainees will continue even after they return to their home countries.

 

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