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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 “JPO/IPR Training Course on Substantive Examination of Design (Basic Program)”

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Report on the “JPO/IPR Training Course on Substantive Examination of Design (Basic Program)”

The JPO/IPR Training Course on Substantive Examination of Design (Basic Program) was held for two weeks from June 23 to August 5.

This course, newly established this year, was intended for design examiners from intellectual property right offices in developing countries. Its objective was to enhance their professional capabilities for conducting examinations promptly and appropriately. To this end, the course offered lectures on the laws and regulations related to design in Japan, examination standards for design, and specialized expertise on examination practices, and introduced case studies.

A total of 15 trainees from nine countries (Brazil, Cambodia, India, Laos, Mexico, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore and Uganda) participated in the training.

Group photo

Group photo

Mainly comprising lectures providing an outline of the Design Act and design examination practices, the program also covered subjects regarding design development, corporate intellectual property management and design strategies. During the lecture on design infringement suits, the trainees participated in mock demonstrations from the perspectives of a plaintiff, defendant and judge. Such practical content was well received by the trainees. They gave feedback saying that the series of lectures on design examination practices was particularly meaningful. Some trainees commented that they wished there had been more time for these lectures.

The trainees attended each lecture with a keen interest and strived to learn how to resolve problems regarding their work and to acquire new knowledge.

scenery at the training scenery at the training

scenery at the training

The trainees asked the lecturers a constant stream of questions not only during the lectures but also in the breaks, indicating their great enthusiasm. Impressed with this positive attitude, the lecturers commented that they enjoyed responding to the many sharp and practical questions from the trainees, and that this training course proved to be a precious experience for both those receiving and giving the lectures.

The trainees also actively interacted with each other, often engaged in discussions during breaks and other occasions, on such topics as the comparison of design-related practices between their respective countries and the cultural differences among their nations. They spent time together on their days off, visiting various places in Japan, with some trainees who had been to Japan several times before serving as guides for the others. Through such activities, the trainees became more familiar with Japanese culture and deepened friendships among them.

scenery at the training

scenery at the training

On the second day of the training course, Country Report presentations were delivered, in which the trainees reported on the situation in their respective countries. In doing so, they seemed to have been able to effectively compare their countries’ circumstances with those of other countries. Since this training course was the first of its kind to specialize in design, there were many applications for participation from companies, lecturers and patent offices. Many questions were submitted not only from the attending trainees but also from these external participants, so that the training course served as a venue for a lively exchange of views.

On the Monday of the last week of the course, the trainees made a study visit to Saitama Factory's Yorii Plant of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., the company's newest plant that began operations in 2013. After touring the plant, they received a lecture on design strategies, including anti-counterfeit measures. At the plant, the trainees were surprised to witness state-of-the-art equipment, which was designed to realize harmonious collaboration between factory workers and machinery by adjusting the speed of the assembly line in accordance with a human’s work pace. The trainees were interested in the system in which the respective parts were prepared and assembled together without error on the production line. They were pleased to learn firsthand about how intellectual property management was carried out by a major company in Japan. They also appeared to be particularly impressed with the company's environmentally conscious efforts.

In the overall discussion held in the morning of the last day of the course, the trainees were divided into three groups, each of which discussed using concrete examples, and then made a presentation. There was feedback from the trainees that they were able to deepen their understanding of Japan's Design Act, by working to draw a conclusion while referencing a collection of legal documents, based on what they had learned during the training.

During the afternoon of the same day, an evaluation meeting was held. The trainees gave a high overall evaluation to the training course. Some trainees commented that the subjects regarding design examination practices and examination standards for designs were useful, since these subjects were directly related to practical work. At the same time, a number of suggestions and requests for future training courses were submitted. These included hopes for the inclusion of an on-the-job training opportunity and a lecture on search in future programs.

This training course was the first to specialize in design. The trainees talked about their hope that, after returning to their home countries, they would utilize what they learned in this training for the development of the design system and for the practical examination process in their respective countries. This indicated that this training course was meaningful for them.

The trainees are expected to play an important and active role in their countries in the future.

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Group photo


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