Message from the president

Address upon Assuming the Presidency


Make Japan an IP-based Nation with Hopes and Dreams!

SHIMIZU Yoshihiro
Japan Patent Attorneys Association (JPAA)

I. Introduction

Today, we are said to be experiencing the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and we frequently hear terms such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and big data every day. With this, our society is noticeably undergoing dramatic changes through accelerated technological progress.

With many innovations emerging, now is the time when patent attorneys should actively demonstrate their role.  A major chance has arrived for us to move with the current and  actively go out, deepen our Kizuna (ties) with others, and increase the presence of patent attorneys.

We should seize this great opportunity and develop an environment in which patent attorneys can conduct their activities with hopes and dreams so as to fulfill their mission as frontrunners of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and make Japan an intellectual property (IP) based nation through the activities of patent attorneys. To this end, we will implement the following measures.

Ⅱ. Policy Outline

  1. We will strengthen the basis of patent attorneys’ activities.
  2. We will propose measures to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
  3. We will support patent attorneys’ international services.
  4. We will support activation of regional IP.
  5. We will promote organizational reform of the Japan Patent Attorneys Association (JPAA).
  6. We will consider making rules for reviewing the productivity of JPAA’s activities.

    Patent Attorney Kizuna Project

III. Specific Measures

  1. Strengthening of the basis of patent attorneys’ activities

(1) Cultivation of activities

―Implementing the Patent Attorney Kizuna Project (a project to strengthen patent attorneys’ ties with others) for achieving deeper coordination―

A: Ties with financial institutions

We will propose to financial institutions IP utilization models that will be useful in supporting SMEs. For this purpose, we will conduct a questionnaire survey targeting major and second-tier regional banks, credit unions, and credit cooperatives nationwide in order to identify their IP-related needs. Then, we will hold seminars for financial institutions facing needs and increase their understanding that IP represents a key business resource for SMEs which they should keep a focus on. In addition, we will aim to promote SMEs’ motivation to acquire IP by having financial institutions explain to them the importance of IP as a business resource.

B: Ties with professionals of other fields

We will provide opportunities for JPAA members to coordinate with professionals of other fields. Through this initiative, we will provide opportunities for members to provide IP services through referral from professionals of other fields. At the same time, we will provide opportunities for members to raise the quality of the IP services they provide to clients with the help of professionals of other fields.

C: Ties with companies

We will efficiently collect information (needs) that will be useful in developing the lineup of JPAA’s activities to support companies. In addition, we will make efforts to enhance the IP-utilization mindset of company-related organizations. Specifically, we will plan and hold opinion exchange meetings with the Japan Intellectual Property Association, and SME-related organizations including chambers of commerce and industry, commerce and industry associations, and federations of small business associations, as well as industry associations related to fields of advanced technology such as AI and biotechnology.

D: Ties with academia, etc.

As part of the efforts to support open innovations, we will provide a technology matching platform. Specifically, we will approach companies, universities, and various other organizations that have technology needs and solutions, and provide a platform for matching between them.

E: Ties between patent attorneys

By strengthening coordination between non-firm patent attorneys, such as corporate patent attorneys, and firm patent attorneys, we will consider measures to increase the IP presence in companies and society.

(2) Improvement of efficiency of firms’ infrastructure

A: Standardization of indirect services

We will propose service support tools that take the patent attorneys service standards a step further. For example, we will consider development of application software that enables JPAA members to easily prepare an estimate on a tablet terminal while meeting a client, easily check conflicts of interest, or solve other needs.

B: Sharing of indirect services

In coordination with the Patent Attorneys Cooperative Association of Japan, we will support patent firms to improve their business efficiency by reducing the costs of their office work management division.

C: Sharing of information on local agents

We will collect agent information that contributes to the appointment of an overseas local agent when filing a foreign application, and provide the information to JPAA members.

  1. Support for SMEs

(1) IP business consultation service ~Patent Attorney IP Caravans Ver. 2~

By making use of the knowledge we have gained through the Patent Attorney IP Caravans, we will provide a new patent attorney dispatching service for SMEs.

(2) Support for services incidental to joint R&D (technology transfer, etc.)

We will expand the lineup of our training programs so as to enable patent attorneys to be involved in contracts, etc. incidental to joint R&D in which SMEs, etc. participate.

(3) Support for subsidy consultation services

We will consider development of a system for providing JPAA members with timely information on subsidies, etc. for assisting with the costs for acquiring and maintaining IP rights. In addition, in order to increase patent attorneys’ motivation to engage in SMEs’ disputes, we will work on a plan to make insurance products for domestic IP litigation costs subject to subsidies.

  1. Support for international services

(1) Provision of information related to international services to JPAA members

A: Establishment of a salon as a place for communication among members

We will consider renovating the first floor of the JPAA Office Benrishi-Kaikan and establishing a salon space where members and overseas agents can drop by with their clients and communicate with each other during waiting time or the like.

B: Basic training for English writing

Apart from the existing training for developing global IP human resources, we will plan a training program for improving practical skills for correspondence in English.

C: Training for preparation of English contract documents

We will plan a training program for preparing contract documents for agreements such as joint research agreements, joint development agreements, rights transfer agreements, and material transfer agreements.

(2) Activities for increasing JPAA’s external presence

A: Enriching the content of JPAA’s English website

We will have the relevant affiliated organizations and committees closely examine the information to be published on the English website, and prepare the English text. We will request an outside company to create and update the English website, and ensure that we can send out information overseas in a timely manner.

B: Support for opening an exhibition booth at international conferences

We will make efforts to expand our support for patent attorneys’ international services and activities through participation in international conferences by, for example, opening JPAA’s own exhibition booths or supporting several patent attorney firms to jointly open exhibition booths.

C: Planning of an Asia tour

In order to provide JPAA members with an opportunity to engage in international services and activities in less-familiar Asian countries, we will plan an “Asia tour” to visit local patent attorney firms and local companies in such countries with the attendance of a large number of JPAA members.

  1. Support to activate regional IP

(1) Clarification of the sharing of roles between the JPAA head office and branch offices

We will clarify the sharing of roles between the JPAA head office and branch offices, and identify the current issues facing the offices in order to enable the head office to effectively support the activities of the branch offices.

(2) Coordination with the Circuit Japan Patent Office program

We will continue to hold the seminars we provided last fiscal year under the Chizai Hirometai (IP use promotion seminar) scheme in collaboration with the Circuit Japan Patent Office program.

(3) Strengthening of coordination with JPAA branch offices

In order to activate regional IP, we will increase the opportunities for JPAA branch offices and the JPAA vice presidents in charge of the respective branch offices to communicate with each other.

  1. Organizational reform of JPAA

(1) Strengthening of the function of the President’s Office

We will make a reform to be able to identify the issues which JPAA needs to solve urgently regardless of the distinction of the fiscal year concerned, and incorporate measures against those issues in the policy for the following fiscal year.

(2) Appointment of expert human resources with a multiple-year term

We will consider appointing human resources that are capable of examining JPAA’s financial policy, etc. with expert knowledge as financial improvement specialists and allocate them in the President’s Office. In addition, we will consider whether we should appoint human resources that are capable of examining JPAA’s public relations policy with expert knowledge as public relations specialists.

(3) Response to medium- to long-term issues

In order to enable JPAA to conduct activities based on a medium- to long-term strategy, we will request each affiliated organization to propose medium- to long-term issues to be addressed in the organization’s specialized field from among the matters it experienced or considered in its activities.

  1. Making rules for reviewing the productivity of JPAA’s activities

We will thoroughly set objectives for the respective activities JPAA implements. In addition, we will consider making rules for checking whether the activities are producing results according to the objectives, and if not, whether improvements have been made according to the objectives, every certain number of years, and abolishing any activity that fails to produce sufficient results.

Ⅳ. Others

  1. Planning and implementation of the event commemorating the 120-year anniversary of the patent attorneys system

We will consider and develop the implementation framework for and the content of the ceremony commemorating the 120-year anniversary of the patent attorneys system (planned to be held on July 1, 2019) and the commemorative event to be held in 2019. Moreover, we will concretely consider and prepare the required funds, and make sufficient preparation on an ongoing basis for implementing a fruitful 120-year anniversary event.

  1. Response to the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games

We will continue to consider the ways in which JPAA can contribute to the holding of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.

  1. Strengthening of IP dissemination activities and raising of the public recognition level of patent attorneys

We will continue to implement the public relations activities which we have been conducting since FY2019 based on the short- to medium-term public relations strategy we have formulated.

  1. Response to amendment of the Patent Attorney Act and other related laws

We will continue to conduct studies toward the next amendment of the Patent Attorney Act.

  1. Efforts on operations and activities under the Patent Attorney Act

In order to achieve smooth implementation of the patent attorneys system and appropriate operation of JPAA’s affairs, we will continue to also make efforts on operations and activities which JPAA implements under the Patent Attorney Act, including the operations involving registration of patent attorneys and the training activities such as practical training.

Ⅴ. Closing Remarks

In order to realize an IP-based nation and a patent attorneys industry with hopes and dreams through the measures above, I would like to ask for your continued cooperation.


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