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World Intellectual Property Day 2014

Since 2001, April 26th has been designated as the World Intellectual Property Day. Every year on this day a variety of events are held to deepen people’s understanding of the role that intellectual property (IP) plays in promoting innovations. In 2014, the 14th anniversary year, an event based on the theme of “Movies - A Global Passion” was held in Geneva, where the WIPO headquarters are located, to introduce the practical use of IP in the movie industry.

The creation, protection and practical use of IP, known as the IP cycle, are all positioned as strategically important issues in Japan. In June 2013 the Japanese cabinet formulated the “Japan Revitalization Strategy” and the “Basic Policy for Intellectual Property Policy” that state as follows: “through wisdom and creativity of the Japanese people, ‘intellectual property based nation’ will be aimed at world highest level”, “aiming to become the most advanced nation in the area of intellectual property in the next decade”.

Based on the above, the Japan Patent Office (JPO) has been working on achieving “the world’s fastest and highest quality” IP system and on attaining international harmonization/contribution.

Specifically, the JPO will approach to the issue of further increasing the speed and efficiency of examination practices, aiming within the next 10 years to halve the amount of time in which applicants acquire patent rights, to less than 14 months, which will be the shortest length of time in the world. The JPO is also making efforts to improve the quality of examination practices. For example, it will set up a new committee comprising outside experts so as to ensure that robust, extensive and beneficial patents will be granted.

Moreover, Japan is revising its IP laws. Once the new laws go into effect, users, for example, will have the convenience of filing only one application to register their designs in multiple countries in accordance with the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs. This will further enhance the international harmonization of the IP system in Japan.

Furthermore, donations contributed by Japan helped the WIPO establish the WIPO Japan Funds-in-Trust and supported conducting human resources development programs with the aim of protecting and strengthening IPRs in developing countries.

From FY2008, the WIPO Japan Funds-in-Trust has been expanded to include support to African nations in terms of human resources development programs on IP issues.

Thanks to a variety of support projects such as that provided by the WIPO Japan Funds-in-Trust, the JPO has welcomed more than 4,000 trainees to Japan from overseas, sent nearly 700 experts overseas as trainers and lecturers, and held many workshops.

Going forward, the JPO will keep assisting developing countries such as those in Asia by introducing initiatives into those countries in order to enable them to actively participate in the IP cycle. Furthermore, by improving the global IP system, the JPO will contribute to the sustained development of the global economy as a result of supporting developing countries to advance the growth of their autonomous economy.

[Last updated 23 May 2014]


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Japan Patent Office