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Report on the “JPO/IPR Training Course on Managing IP”

The FY2016 JPO/IPR Training Course on Managing IP was offered for the 10-day period from Monday, December 5 to Wednesday, December 14. This course was newly established by taking a portion of the JPO/IPR IP Trainers Course offered last fiscal year and making it an independent course.

The trainees of this course have been engaged in IP management and utilization, such as technology transfer and the promotion of industry-government-academia collaboration at universities and research institutes, and have been leading industry-government-academia collaboration at IP Offices and relevant government agencies. A total of 20 trainees—13 men and seven women—were invited from 12 countries: Brazil, Brunei, Cambodia, Chile, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

After coming to Japan the trainees first attended an orientation and introduced themselves to each other, and then started to attend lectures. In the pre-training lecture given by Mr. Hatori on the first day of the course, the trainees were divided into groups according to a plan prepared before their arrival. Each group exchanged opinions among themselves and gave a presentation in front of the other groups. Each group was given an extremely high-level topic such as [i] who owns rights for an invention and how to determine, at a practical level, whether an application can be filed with the Patent Office, [ii] how to manage doing both the presentation of an academic paper and patent application filing, [iii] the benefit of introducing the Bayh-Dole Act and the progress of the introduction, [iv] how to handle inventions made through industry-academia joint research, and [v] how to license a patented invention, at a practical level, made at a university or research institute. These topics allowed for intensive learning by the trainees during this pre-training lecture.

After this lecture the trainees moved to the APIC facilities and attended further lectures. Some of the trainees' comments for the following lectures are shown below.

(1) Lecture: "Searching and Brushing-up Inventions, Becoming a Good Judge of Inventions (Exercise)" by Mr. Michihiro IZUMI

While I did not really understand what the term 'invention' meant, this lecture helped me understand it clearly. I was able to understand that an invention does not have to be complex and that a simple, easily understandable invention could have a new effect. In the lectures I will give in the future, I would like to talk about what I learned from Mr. Izumi's lecture and about the textbooks for the lecture in order to efficiently teach the concept of "inventive step" through an exercise session.

(2) Lecture: "Role of Todai TLO (CASTI) (Industry-Government-Academia Collaboration in Japan)" by Mr. Takafumi YAMAMOTO

I was able to understand the IP transfer policy and learn about some relevant cases in Japan. I was able to learn about the establishment of relationships between university researchers/professors and companies, and about some successful cases in Japan where technologies were transferred from universities to companies.

(3) Lecture: "Assessment of IP Asset Values" by Mr. Yasuyuki ISHI

This lecture was very difficult for me, but helped me understand how important it is for me to know more about value evaluation and what I should learn in the future. After returning to my home country, I would like to learn more. I think Mr. Ishi's lecture on IP asset value assessment methods is the best lecture on this topic.

Lecture room

Lecture room

Mr. Ishi's lecture in a PC room

Mr. Ishi's lecture in a PC room

During the morning of the last day of the course, a group discussion was held in the class of Mr. Ishi. The trainees chose their favorite topics respectively from among the following options: (A) Rights, Ownership and Employee Inventions, (B) Industry-Government-Academia, (C) Starting a Venture Business, and (D) Technology Transfer.

Each group was requested to exchange opinions about (1) what they learned from the course and how they are going to utilize it in their home countries, and (2) what questions have remained unsolved during the course. Each group then gave a 10-minute presentation.

Presentations by trainees

Presentations by trainees

In the afternoon the trainees evaluated the course. Most of them gave a high evaluation to the course as a whole and commented that they had learned many things that they can utilize after going back to their home countries.

After that, a closing ceremony was held. A completion certificate was handed to each trainee. Mr. Adrian Hilum Sablan, a trainee from the Philippines, gave a speech to express the gratitude of the trainees.

Speech by a trainee from the Philippines

Speech by a trainee from the Philippines

Among the lectures offered in this curriculum, the lectures of Mr. Sada and Mr. Yamamoto about industry-government-academia collaboration received a particularly high evaluation because those lectures covered specific cases in Japan. On the other hand, the lecture of Mr. Ishi about assessment of IP asset value received a relatively low evaluation. Many trainees commented that, even though the lecture was difficult, it was useful (many trainees commented that more time should have been allotted to this lecture).

While this course focused on industry-government-academia collaboration, some trainees commented that they wanted to attend more lectures conducted by private companies and government officials. In fact, most of the lecturers were people working for universities. Some trainees commented that, while most lectures were about patents, they wanted to attend lectures on trademarks and copyrights as well, and they wanted to participate in more exercise sessions. Although it is difficult to reflect all of these comments in the curriculum due to the limited duration of the course, it is necessary to analyze these comments and create a more beneficial curriculum for trainees.

Many trainees of this course work for universities in their home countries. They were good communicators and did not hesitate to speak up in exercise sessions and Q&A sessions. The trainees actively communicated among themselves as well, and went out after lectures almost every day to experience the Japanese culture and build an international human network. After going back to their home countries, we hope that this network of trainees will continue to grow.


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