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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 sustainable economic development of the countries themselves.

In order to uphold the provisions stipulated in the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (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 legal systems 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.

The Japan Patent Office (JPO) is making the following initiatives to respond to these concerns.

Specific Initiatives of JPO

Experts and Workshops

The JPO, in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), has contributed to improving IP systems in developing countries, and focused on developing human resources who will lead the IP systems.

JPO Cooperation in Human Resource Development

The JPO, as part of Cooperation in Human Resource Development, has invited short-term/medium-term trainees and long-term research fellows to Japan, and provided training courses for them. Additionally, we hold follow-up seminars in each developing country, which results in developing human resources who play a central role in the intellectual property infrastructure in developing countries as well as building its networks.

Notes

Based on Article 67 of the TRIPS Agreement, the JPO has been providing technical cooperation to developing member countries and Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The World Trade Organization (WTO) Secretariat has published, on its Website (link to an external site), the information on technical cooperation provided by each advanced country and the JPO’s activities are also posted. For details, please see the "TECHNICAL COOPERATION ACTIVITIES" (link to an external site).

  • *TRIPS Agreement
    On January 1, 1995, the TRIPS Agreement was put into effect by WTO. As of July, 2020, there are 164 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. 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 2013 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.

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[Last updated 11 September 2020]

Contact Us

Developing Country Cooperation Section

International Cooperation Division

Policy Planning and Coordination Department

Japan Patent Office

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

Fax:+81-3-3581-0762

E-mail:PA0870@jpo.go.jp