Strengthening ties with the Japan Patent Office

1 October 2020

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On Friday 25 September EPO President António Campinos met with the Commissioner of the Japan Patent Office (JPO), Toshihide Kasutani, who took office on 20 July 2020. In their video conference, the two Heads of Office agreed to further strengthen their co-operation, which is based on a comprehensive Memorandum of Co-operation concluded in 2019.

The EPO President and JPO Commissioner also underlined that their bilateral cooperation would contribute to effective co-operation within the Trilateral and IP5 co-operation frameworks. The two delegations shared their ideas for the future of Trilateral co-operation and the EPO’s plan for hosting this year’s conference in a virtual format. They also exchanged views on the digital transformation of IP5 co-operation, possible joint strategic responses to COVID-19 and IP5 co-operation post COVID-19. The JPO will host the next high-level IP5 meetings in 2021.

During the meeting the EPO and the JPO renewed their commitment to the EPO-JPO examiner exchange programme. The programme is seen as a way to contribute to better understanding and re-use of work products. The exchanges will be continued by virtual means and more frequently, until in-person meetings were possible again.

President Campinos and Commissioner Kasutani also discussed the EPO-JPO comparative study of examination practices in the field of computer-implemented inventions. The offices are currently working on an extension of the study to include examples of artificial intelligence (AI), which is expected to benefit both our offices and users of the European and Japanese patent systems.

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