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Celebrating World IP Day 2018



On every April 26, people the world over celebrate World Intellectual Property (IP) Day, which was established in 2000 by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). April 26 is the date on which the Convention Establishing WIPO entered into force in 1970. And since 2001, World IP Day has been observed by holding a variety of events and activities worldwide to increase people’s awareness and understanding of the important role that IP rights play in promoting innovations. This year 2018 marks the 18th anniversary and the theme for this year is “Powering Change: Women in Innovation and Creativity”. In line with this year’s anniversary, various events are being held around the world, including in Geneva, which is the location of WIPO headquarters.

The Japan Patent Office (JPO) in celebrating World IP Day 2018 is highlighting the contributions it has made to WIPO, emphasizing the cooperative relationship that has been forged between the JPO and WIPO.

Contributions to WIPO under the Support of the Japan Funds

The JPO, through a wide variety of cooperative initiatives, has enhanced its cooperative relationship with WIPO over the years. Since 1987, Japan has made voluntary contributions each year to WIPO, and based on these contributions, the Japan Funds-in-Trust at WIPO (the Japan Funds) has been set up. Making effective use of the Japan Funds, Japan has implemented a variety of assistance activities for developing countries mainly in Asia and Africa. This includes welcoming more than 1,800 trainees since 1996 from 59 countries and four regions, holding various workshops and seminars, sending more than 300 of its own experts to 37 countries since 1987, and supporting the computerizing and upgrading of the IT infrastructure at other IP offices.

In fiscal year 2017, Japan’s cooperative and assistance activities under the support of the Japan Funds marked their 30th anniversary. In celebration of this, the JPO held a high-level forum in February 2018 in Tokyo, and invited around 100 top-level officials from 54 IP offices.

Photo: February 2018; WIPO High-Level Forum Held to Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Japan Funds-In-Trust; in Tokyo, Japan
Photo: February 2018; WIPO High-Level Forum Held to Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Japan Funds-In-Trust; in Tokyo, Japan

JPO’s Collaboration with the WIPO Japan Office

The WIPO Japan Office (WJO) (*1) was established in 2006 as an external office of WIPO. Last year in 2016, the WJO marked its 10 anniversary. The WJO, including its Director Yuji Okuma (*2), has been collaborating with the JPO in conducting public awareness campaigns by holding various seminars and workshops on services provided by WIPO, such as the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), the Madrid Protocol System, the international design application and registration system under the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement, global database, WIPO GREEN, WIPO Re:Search, IP Advantage and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Also, the WJO is actively working to further promote greater use of the services provided by WIPO by, for example, preparing Japanese translations of information and pamphlets provided by WIPO and conducting online seminars on them in Japanese. Furthermore, the WJO is responding in Japanese to various questions from users of these services about the overall systems and practices at WIPO, including their specific procedures. In addition, the WJO is making great contributions to cooperative activities being conducted in Japan under the support of the Japan Funds. Through these public awareness campaigns and assistant activities using the Japan Funds, the JPO has been advancing its cooperative relationship with the WJO.


Going forward, the JPO is firmly committed to further enhance the cooperative relationship it has built with WIPO, in order to contribute to developing and improving the intellectual property systems in developing countries. Also, it will work to advance international harmonization of intellectual property systems.

Photo: February 21, 2018; Talks Held between Minister Seko and WIPO Director General Gurry.
Photo: February 21, 2018; Talks Held between Minister Seko and WIPO Director General Gurry.
(From Left to right: Chairman & CEO of JETRO, Hiroyuki Ishige; Director General of WIPO, Francis Gurry; Minister of METI, Hiroshige Seko; and Commissioner of JPO, Naoko Munakata)

Major Conferences and Meetings, which were Held in Connection with WIPO in Fiscal Year 2017:

  • WIPO General Assemblies Meetings 2017 (in October 2017)
  • Bilateral meetings during the WIPO General Assemblies Meetings 2017 (in October 2017)
  • WIPO Director General Gurry’s visit to the JPO (in February 2018)

Major Training Programs Held in Fiscal Year 2017 under the Support of the Japan Funds:

  • *WIPO Japan Office Website:
    http://www.wipo.int/about-wipo/en/offices/japan/index.html(External link)
    Contact information of the WIPO Japan Office:
    https://www3.wipo.int/contact/en/area.jsp?area=wjo(External link)
  • **Mr. Okuma joined the JPO in 1983 and assumed the position of Director of the WIPO Japan Office (WJO) in 2015. Prior to becoming WJO Director, he served as Advisor to the PCT International Cooperation Division at WIPO; and at the JPO, he worked as Director of the International Policy Office, Director of the Information Technology Policy Planning Office, and Director-General of the 11th Board of Trial and Appeal. He also served as Manager of the Department of Human Resources Development at the National Center for Industrial Property Information and Training (INPIT).
  • (icon)World Intellectual Property Day 2018 April 26

[Last updated 26 April 2018]


<Inquiries about the Japan Funds and related activities>

Developing Country Cooperation Section

International Cooperation Division

Tel:+81-3-3581-1101 (ex. 2574)


<Other Inquiries>

International Organization Section

International Policy Division

Tel:+81-3-3581-1101 (ex. 2567)