Building a Foundation for Securing Stability in the Future!
Japan Patent Attorneys Association (JPAA)
I would like to convey my greetings on the occasion of becoming President of the Japan Patent Attorneys Association for 2023.
Three years after the beginning of 2020, when COVID-19 emerged as a challenge facing the entire society, the government of Japan is now working to restore society to the pre-COVID-19 state, by such efforts as the reclassification of COVID-19 from a Category 2 to Category 5 infectious disease from this May and renaming it “Corona 2019.”.
As I take on the role of President of the Japan Patent Attorneys Association (JPAA) in this period of transition from the co-existence phase to post-pandemic phase, I would like to present the following business plan to be worked on with our members for ensuring a robust organization in the future, with the specific initiatives presented in a list form for the sake of space.
Under the Patent Attorneys Act, revised in 2014 after the enactment of the Intellectual Property Basic Act in 2002, patent attorneys must at all times maintain integrity, have mastery of the laws, regulations, and practices involved in the business, and conduct business in a fair and sincere manner (Article 3 of the Patent Attorneys Act). In addition, they have a mission to contribute to the proper operation of intellectual property systems and thereby contribute to economic and industrial development (Article 1 of the Patent Attorneys Act). This revision has also increased the role of the JPAA, which conducts operations related to the instruction, communication, and supervision of patent attorneys (Article 56 of the Patent Attorneys Act).
Meanwhile, the Japanese economy has seen a stagnation in growth for a long time, since the end of the economic bubble. In addition, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, coupled with price hikes due to such factors as the sharpest drop in the yen in 32 years, has caused the Japanese economy to enter into a long recession. With respect to intellectual properties in Japan, although the number of trademark applications has experienced fluctuations, the number of intellectual property applications has continued to decrease over the medium- to long-term.
In light of this situation, it is necessary to lay a foundation for increasing the number of patent applications from a medium- to long-term perspective, by strengthening support for patent attorneys’ practices by the sustainable and robust organizational structure of the JPAA, and fostering and boosting the capabilities of highly skilled patent attorneys, thereby contributing to the development of the Japanese economy and industry by bolstering product innovation (i.e., developing new innovative products with differentiated features) and supporting the globalization and digital transformation of the industrial community under the fourth industrial revolution and enabling patent attorneys to fully carry out their mission.
In light of the downturn in the economy over the long term and the slowdown in business of patent attorneys, I am committed to laying a foundation for sustainable and stable activities for patent attorneys and for the robust organizational structure of the JPAA from a medium- to long-term perspective, and to developing and fostering patent attorneys that are necessary to achieve these goals.
Rebuilding a relationship with related organizations that have been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Raise the public recognition of patent attorneys.
Promotion of IP creative education at universities, colleges of technology, high schools, and elementary and middle education schools.
Increase opportunities for the JPAA to engage with its regional branches and to provide support for their flexible management.
Devise PR strategies with cost-effectiveness in mind, including cooperation with JPO and other related government agencies and affiliated organizations, and supporting PR strategies for regional branches.
Develop opportunities for activities of in-house patent attorneys through engagement with them, such as providing the training that they need.
Establish a mechanism for the JPAA to collect and analyze information concerning patent attorneys’ services, devise a medium- to long-term strategy to increase their activities, and enable the smooth continuation of the JPAA’s activities.
Lay a foundation for introducing a mechanism to regularly review the JPAA’s activities.
Develop an environment encouraging members’ active participation so that more members will be involved in the JPAA’s administration.
Develop a user-friendly environment for accessing contents available from electronic forums.
Discuss incorporating a provision in the JPAA’s rules to confirm the restriction on a patent professional corporation from receiving capital contributions from non-patent attorneys.
Advancing these initiatives cannot be achieved without the JPAA members understanding the necessity of and participating in the implementation of these initiatives. To this end, it is important for us to share information and work together. I appreciate members’ assistance in advancing these initiatives to enable patent attorneys to contribute to the development of society by assisting the economy and industry of Japan from the standpoint of intellectual properties.