EPO President meets the new Commissioner of the Japan Patent Office

12 November 2021

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Computer chip connections

Today, EPO President António Campinos met online with Mr Kiyoshi Mori, the new Commissioner of the Japan Patent Office (JPO). Mr Campinos and Mr Mori aligned on several common endeavours, including those of direct relevance to this year's meeting with Trilateral Industry on 16 November 2021, which the JPO is hosting as part of the 39th Trilateral Conference.

Today's meeting also provided the opportunity for the heads of the two offices to launch the latest edition of a unique joint report. The "Comparative study on computer-implemented inventions/ software-related inventions", first published in 2018, includes new up-to-date examples from the rapidly growing areas of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, as well as a further new example about graphical user interfaces (GUI). The publication aims to promote a better understanding of EPO and JPO legal requirements and working practices, with a view to supporting applicants drafting AI-related patent applications.

Two headline takeaways from the new examples are worth noting. First, for the purposes of drafting claims, applicants may benefit from taking into consideration that the JPO and the EPO apply different approaches when examining the inventive step of AI-related inventions. Second, in relation to sufficiency of disclosure (EPO) and the enablement requirement (JPO), both the legal requirements and the outcomes of the sample cases are comparable.

Next steps

Looking ahead to the annual meeting of the IP5 heads of office, which the EPO hosts in June 2022, the EPO and JPO agreed to work together closely in promoting the benefits of IP to building a sustainable economic recovery after the pandemic and highlighting the positive contributions that IP can make to achieving the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

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