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International Symposium on IP and Environmental Issues Co-hosted by the Trilateral Offices

March 31, 2022

On March 17, 2022, an international symposium titled “Trilateral Symposium on IP and Environmental Issues - Contribution of the patent system towards Carbon Neutral” was held via video conference. The main host of the symposium was the Japan Patent Office (JPO), and the co-hosts were the European Patent Office (EPO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The symposium received additional support from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Japan Intellectual Property Association (JIPA), BusinessEurope (BE), American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), and Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), which are the trilateral users’ associations of Japan, Europe, and the United States.

This was the first time for an international IP symposium on environmental issues to be held jointly by the Trilateral Offices. The purpose of the symposium was to introduce case studies regarding the development and dissemination of carbon-neutral technologies through strategic use of the patent system, and to discuss the contribution of IP toward achieving carbon neutrality.The Joint Statement on environmental issues, the first of its kind by the Trilateral Offices, was also adopted following the outcome of the symposium.

Trilateral Joint Statement on IP & environmental issues (External Link)(PDF:135KB)

1. Opening Remarks (Greetings from the Organizers)

(1) Mr. MORI Kiyoshi, Commissioner, JPO

He spoke about the importance of implementing carbon neutral technologies in society through innovation in order to realize a carbon neutral society, and how the IP system can contribute to the development and diffusion of carbon neutral technologies. As JPO's efforts related to environmental issues, he mentioned that the Green Transformation Technologies Inventory (GXTI), a technology inventory list that provides an overview of climate change countermeasure technologies, is in the process of creating, a patent trend survey to be conducted in FY2022 that provides an overview of climate change countermeasure technologies, and the support for WIPO GREEN.

(2) Mr. Stephen Rowan, Vice-President, EPO

He spoke about the need to reach out to SMEs to achieve the SDGs, and how he is focusing on improving the “Patent Information Libraries (PATLIB)” network. He also introduced the restructuring of the EPO's examination system into 14 technology communities that are aligned with the SDGs, and launching of a "Patent and innovation Observatory" this year to support data-driven discussions on trends and developments in the patent area.

(3) Mr. Drew Hirshfeld, Acting Director, USPTO

He introduced that an internal working group was formed last year to study sustainability issues, and that a priority review program focused on environmental technologies, a licensable environmental technology patent repository, and an award program for patents related to sustainability are being envisioned.

2. Keynote Speech

Mr. Daren Tang, Director General of WIPO, spoke about how IP is a key element in supporting green innovation. He also introduced WIPO's initiative to address climate change, including WIPO GREEN, a platform to promote the use of environmental technologies, and IPO GREEN, a new project to support the promotion of environmental technologies.

3. Topic 1 (Case Study in Japan)

From Japan, Mr. IZUMO Mitsuru, President and founder of Euglena Co., Ltd., introduced his next-generation renewable-diesel biofuel using the microalgae euglena and spoke about his intellectual property strategy of obtaining basic patents independently and then conducting joint research.

4. Topic 2 (Case Study in Europe)

From Europe, Dr. Andreas Schuster, CTO and co-founder of Orcan Energy AG, spoke about how the IP portfolio consisting of 170 patents was key in marketing waste heat power plants and pointed out that patents play a critical role in raising funds, successfully negotiating with partners, and developing their business internationally.

5. Topic 3 (Case Study in the United States)

From the United States, Mr. Steve Katsaros, CEO and founder of Nokero International Ltd., introduced low-cost, low-environmental-impact solar-powered LEDs and spoke about their IP strategy of protecting their products with both patents and designs.

6. Panel Discussion

The following moderators and panelists gathered for discussion to share further insights on the topics mentioned in 3. through 5.


  • WIPO: Dr. Edward Kwakwa, Assistant Director General

Panelists representing the Trilateral users’ associations

  • JIPA: Mr. BEKKU Tomonori
    He introduced an example of a technological breakthrough achieved by bringing IP between an automobile manufacturer and a battery manufacturer, which led to the commercialization of a battery for electric vehicles.
  • BE: Mr. Jacques Bauvir
    He shared his knowledge that it is important to enter the market early after obtaining basic patents and to design one’s own IP strategy by considering various aspects of protection.
  • AIPLA: Mr. Philip T. Petti
    He spoke about the importance of building a strong patent portfolio to promote investment in green innovation.
  • IPO: Mr. Sang Young Brodie
    He shared his knowledge that it is important to always have IP discussions when starting a consortium, participating in committees to develop technical standards, or obtaining grants from the government.

Panelists representing the Trilateral Offices

  • JPO: Mr. FUKUDA Satoshi, Director, International Policy Division
    He mentioned the importance of startups in solving environmental issues and introduced IP BASE, an IP portal site, and the IP Acceleration Program (IPAS).
  • EPO: Dr. Yann Meniere, Chief Economist
    He spoke about the importance of new wave technologies such as batteries, power transmission, carbon capture and hydrogen, in addition to those related to energy demand and supply, as decarbonizing technologies.
  • USPTO: Dr. Andrew A. Toole, Chief Economist
    He introduced the USPTO's release of its report “Intellectual property and the U.S. economy (Third edition)” on IP-intensive industries and spoke about the significant contribution of IP to employment and other activities in the United States.

7. Closing Remark

Commissioner Mori concluded the symposium by stating that he was able to reconfirm through this symposium that the IP system is contributing to the realization of carbon neutrality.

The JPO will continue to work with the EPO and the USPTO, and with the cooperation of WIPO and Trilateral users’ associations of Japan, Europe, and the United States, to solve environmental issues through the IP system.


Archived videos of this symposium are now available on JPO Channel on YouTube.

(screenshot) online conference
Opening remarks and keynote speech
Upper Left: Mr. Mori, Commissioner of the JPO
Upper Right: Mr. Rowan, Vice-President of the EPO
Lower Left: Mr. Hirshfeld, Acting Director of the USPTO
Lower Right: Mr. Tang, DG of the WIPO

(screenshot) online conference
Representatives from Japan, Europe, and the U.S.
Left: Mr. Izumo, President of Euglena Co., Ltd. (Japan)
Center: Dr. Schuster, CTO of Orcan Energy (Europe)
Right: Mr. Katsaros, CEO of Nokero (U.S.)

(screenshot) online conference
Panel discussion
Upper side from left: Mr. Bekku (JIPA), Mr. Bauvir (BE), Mr. Petti (AIPLA), Mr. Brodie (IPO)
Lower side from left: Mr. Fukuda (JPO), Dr. Meniere (EPO), Dr. Toole (USPTO), Dr. Kwakwa (WIPO)

(photo) Group photo
Mr. Mori, Commissioner of the JPO, presented a thank-you letter to Mr. Izumo, President of Euglena Co., Ltd.

[Last updated 16 May 2022]

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