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Report on the “JPO/IPR Training Course for Practitioners Specializing in Trademarks”

The 4th JPO/IPR Training Course for Practitioners Specializing in Trademarks was held for two weeks from July 2 - 15.

The objective of this annual training course is to provide a deeper understanding of intellectual property in general, and thereby to enhance specialist capability in trademark practice in particular, through lectures and discussions on the trademark registration system, a brief overview of the Madrid Protocol and Trademark Examination Guidelines, and utilization of trademark information. This year, 30 business persons participated in the training course from the following 11 countries: Cambodia, Columbia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam. The participants work in a number of different IP fields in their respective countries, including examination at IP Offices, prior art searching, application practice, dealing with rights infringement, licensing agreement negotiations, and similar activities at business enterprises and law firms.

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Group photo

The course curriculum was constructed around trademark practice, encompassing trademark examination guidelines, the Madrid Protocol, brand strategy pursued by business enterprises, and responses to rights infringement. Some trainees remarked that they found the course curriculum to be very useful and informative, since even though it was primarily made up of classroom lectures, it also included a computer-based database search exercise with the use of J-Plat Pat. During class time, all trainees made strenuous attempts to find solutions to business problems and acquire new knowledge.

In the Q&A sessions following the lectures, the trainees asked the lecturers lots of questions, which conveyed their sense of enthusiasm to learn. Lecturers made admiring remarks, such as: "They asked high-quality questions, which revealed that they had gained a good understanding of the contents of the lectures."

scenery at the training scenery at the training

scenery at the training

One characteristic of the trainees enrolled in this training course was their keen interest in the operation of the Madrid Protocol. Participants from such countries as Columbia—which has a short history as a member state—and Indonesia, which is a prospective member state, asked what aspects they should pay attention to in their efforts to gain public understanding of the Madrid Protocol. Such trainees were intensely interested in receiving advice from Japan’s long years of experience—particularly the sorts of difficulties that Japan had experienced during the 15 years since its accession to the Protocol, and how such problems had been dealt with.

Participants also made earnest attempts to compare their own systems with those of Japan and other countries. During the Q&A sessions, opinions were exchanged between lecturers and trainees, as well as among fellow participants, wherein information was shared regarding circumstances in other countries, and differences were clarified between different countries' systems. Trainees made positive remarks regarding how they found such information exchanges to be very useful in gaining deeper understandings.

A company visit was paid on July 10 to Toshiba Corporation, where a presentation was given about Toshiba's specific intellectual property strategy based on case examples, along with a tour of its science museum. These opportunities enabled the visitors to directly experience how an intellectual property strategy is being pursued by a business enterprise. Many questions were asked during the subsequent Q&A session covering a wide variety of topics, including the organizational structure of its Intellectual Property department, joint development with other companies, licensing and measures against litigation, and points to keep in mind in overseas business expansion. Some of the participants remarked that they found the visit to be very useful and informative, since it provided an understanding of how a Japanese company utilizes its patents and portfolio of intellectual property based on an example relating to leading-edge technology.

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Group photo

During the evaluation meeting, the participants made comments such as, "I could achieve the goal I set at the beginning of the training course", and "On my return home, I would like to utilize the knowledge and experiences learned from the training course in my duties."

We wish them every success in their endeavors.

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