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Assistance to Developing Countries

The globalization of the economy has resulted in an increase in R&D and business activities, and the protection of Intellectual Property (IP) has become an extremely important issue worldwide.

Improving the trade and investment environment in developing countries by reinforcing the protection of intellectual property in these countries results in not only the protection of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) of Japanese enterprises doing business in these countries but also in the development of the countries themselves.

In order to uphold the provisions stipulated in the TRIPS Agreement*, the minimum legal systems to protect intellectual property have been established in developing countries. However, it is important to extend further assistance to developing countries so as to expand the scope of their laws and regulations and strengthen their supervisory systems in terms of protecting intellectual property.

In recent years, a multiplicity of assistance is being given to developing countries, where remarkable economic development is taking place, For example, there is assistance being given to develop human resources in line with the growing number of examiners, assistance to combat counterfeit products that obstruct economic activities and undermine safety and security in the countries, and assistance to promote mutual cooperation among the countries in terms of developing more efficient examination processes for patent applications that are becoming more globalized. However, there are a growing number of concerns about this assistance.

In response to these concerns, the JPO, in cooperation with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), has been active in providing support through the WIPO Funds-in-Trust/Japan** and through other means of support in the areas of human resource development, technical cooperation, and others to developing countries mainly in Asia and emerging countries for the purpose of reinforcing intellectual property protection.

JPO Cooperation in Human Resource Development

  1. Experts and Workshops
  2. JPO Cooperation in Human Resource Development

Cooperation in Human Resource Development


*WTO/TRIPS Agreement
On January 1, 1995, the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) was put into effect by the World Trade Organization (WTO). As of July, 2015, there are 161 countries and regions that are members to the Agreement. While developed country members, which number around 30 countries including Japan, were obligated to comply with the Agreement effective January 1, 1996, developing country members were obligated to do so from January 1, 2000. Least-developed countries (LDCs) have been given an extension by eight more years, until 1 July 2021, to provide protection under the TRIPS Agreement, based on their request for an extension, which was agreed by member governments in June 2006 at a TRIPS Board of Directors Meeting. The significance of this agreement lies in its ability to make IPR protection essentially possible through provisions clarifying the minimum protection standards and enforcing intellectual property in a wide range of fields, in all member countries irrespective of their level of development.
**WIPO Funds-in-Trust/Japan
Since 1987, the Japanese government has been providing voluntary contributions to WIPO which is a UN organization responsible for the protection of intellectual property throughout the world and the administration of various multilateral treaties, such as the creation of IPR rules, etc.). “WIPO Funds-in-Trust/Japan” was established with these voluntary funds and is used to support WIPO member countries in the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). In addition, in FY2008, the Funds-in-Trust/Japan for Africa and LDCs was founded in order to promote self-sustained economic development utilizing IP in the region. Through these voluntary funds, various projects are implemented every year such as accepting trainees and IPR research fellows, holding symposiums, sending JPO officials, and supporting the automation and modernization of IP offices.

Implemented Activities in and after fiscal year 2013

  1. Cooperation in Human Resource Development (PDF:143KB)
  2. Cooperation in Information Processing (PDF:235KB)
  3. Cooperation in Examination Procedures (PDF:56KB)

Leaflet on Assistance to Developing Countries (PDF:836KB)

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[Last updated 12 July 2019]

Contact Us

Developing Country Cooperation Section

International Cooperation Division

Policy Planning and Coordination Department

Japan Patent Office

Tel:+81-3-3503-4698 (Direct)