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The Japan Patent Office (JPO) has outlined a number of measures it will pursue in the new year to improve the office’s efficiency and to encourage small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) to file for protection for their intellectual property.
Hitoshi Ito, the commissioner for the JPO, has said the office will appoint another 100 examiners on a full-time basis in an attempt to speed up prior art searches and the granting of patents.
Ito said he intends to create the “world’s fastest and highest quality examination system” in a statement published on the JPO website on January 1.
Furthermore, the JPO has promised additional support for SMEs in the form of subsidies for foreign applications and infringement claims.
The JPO also said it will begin preparations for the implementation of certain measures of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free-trade agreement that was completed in October by 12 Pacific Rim nations.
“Japan has been experiencing a transition toward adopting new forms of revenue generation derived from the utilisation of IP based on advanced technological capabilities,” Ito said.
“In light of these circumstances, we are fully committed to making our utmost efforts to ensure that the innovation that constitutes Japan’s source of industrial competitiveness will be further advanced, and to make Japan’s IP system even more user-friendly,” he added.
IP protection is at the centre of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plan to deliver further economic growth in 2016.
Abe’s plans for economic development in the country are commonly referred to as “Abenomics”, which includes a “three arrow” approach to tackle problems in the country.
The first arrow is an attempt to improve economic growth through the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s encouragement of supporting innovation within the country.
In May, WIPR interviewed Ito on his plans to create the world’s “fastest and highest quality” patent system.
Japanese Patent Office; SMEs; Hitoshi Ito; Shinzo Abe; Abenomics; TPP