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President Inaugural Address

“Aspiring Toward a Patent Attorney Profession with Hope for the Future Through Full Membership Participation”

1. Introduction
2009 commemorates the 110th anniversary of the patent attorney system. In the first year of this two-year term, it is my intention to conduct the Association’s affairs with the goal of further developing the patent attorney and intellectual property systems as well as making additional improvements to member services within the framework of a detailed plan so as to best utilize the two-year term advantages. I believe that intellectual property is becoming increasingly important as we move toward the future, and will make every effort possible so that patent attorneys as experts in intellectual property may contribute to society.
My major policy items are described below.

JPAA President
Yamato Tsutsui

2. Improving the work environment for patent attorneys and reinforcing the foundation for patent offices
Under the national commitment to intellectual property, society is expecting more and more of patent attorneys. I will work to further improve and enhance patent office practice standards for all domestic and foreign-related patent attorney services. Also, I will give renewed consideration to the structure of the service remuneration system for patent attorneys (service pricing).
In order to meet society’s demands and live up to the trust placed in patent attorneys, it is imperative that a caliber of professional practice be maintained, befitting all those who call themselves patent attorneys. To that end, I will review the patent attorney examination system and the appropriate number of patent attorneys so as to maintain the patent attorney quality.
I will improve the office management system as well as the system for transferring operations and administrative affairs at patent offices and particularly at individual members’ offices, and moreover, I will strive for members’ thorough compliance. In regard to the system for patent service companies, I will study the institution of one-person corporations.

3. Contributing to development of the intellectual property system and industry and patent attorneys’ contributions to society
In addition to taking the initiative in addressing new intellectual property policies and other measures aimed at promoting innovation as well as the Intellectual Property Promotion Plan by Japan’s Intellectual Property Strategy Headquarters, I will actively respond to policies put forth by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Japan Patent Office along with those of other ministries and agencies (Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, etc.) along with government projects to support intellectual property so as to contribute to the improvement of Japan’s industrial competitiveness. I will strive to foster people competent in intellectual property, inventors and others shouldering responsibility for the intellectual property and patent attorney systems of the future.
I plan to coordinate with the Intellectual Property Assistance and Support Center, regional intellectual property activity centers, and all association branch offices nationwide to provide appropriate and adequate support and assistance for intellectual property activities based on support agreements with prefectures and municipalities.
In concert with the Small and Medium Enterprise Caravan, all association branch offices nationwide, the Organization for Small & Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation Japan(SMRJ), I will provide appropriate support for small and medium-sized venture companies.
Besides stepping up cooperation with the Nippon Keidanren, the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in addition to the Japan Intellectual Property Association and other industry groups, I will further bolster coordination with other relevant professions to develop the intellectual property system comprehensively.

4. Further improving patent attorney expertise to accommodate diverse intellectual property needs
In order to cultivate intellectual property specialists capable of accommodating the diversifying intellectual property demands, I will work to enhance practical training based on further improving the expertise in patent attorney primary practice in addition to raising the level of specialization pertaining to peripheral business, new operations and other areas. Moreover, society also demands that patent attorneys play the role of so-called comprehensive advisors, combining intellectual property and business strategy, and I will encourage a large number of people to develop such competence.
Along with appropriately accommodating the requirements for continuing study and practical training which started in 2008, I will continue training focused on patent attorneys holding additional indication for specified infringement litigation representation service so as to encourage the development of patent attorneys proficient in legal proceedings, external negotiations, contract affairs and other areas.
On top of reviewing and implementing measures for establishing peripheral and new business in the work of patent attorneys, I will develop and create new services as well as provide training for educating competent personnel.

5. Strengthening skills for handling business overseas, enhancing international competitiveness, and contributing internationally
Patent attorney work has a substantially strong international interest, and patent attorney advocacy encompasses foreign application services. Today when work abroad is expanding, patent attorneys are required to be thoroughly acquainted with international intellectual property systems. I will further encourage the development of patent attorneys highly capable of conducting services abroad by reinforcing training in foreign patent practices and striving to enhance the international competitiveness of Japan’s patent attorneys.
In order to promote patent attorneys well versed in foreign practices, it is important that the patent attorney examination system be compatible with the practice’s international character, an important and essential aspect of patent attorney work. I will continue this inquiry so that the patent attorney exam ensures there are internationally-oriented patent attorneys.
I will strive to bolster exchanges with foreign countries, particularly nations in Asia, and actively cooperate to improve the patent attorney system in Asian nations as well as nurture competent and skilled human resources, with a view toward the patent attorney systems international development.

6. Rebuilding the JPAA’s organization and administration and further enhancing member services
I will reconsider the standing of the Board of Council so that it contributes to efficient and productive administration of the association affairs, and undertake a comprehensive study based on that review with the aim of reconstructing of the Board of Council and the policies supporting the Board’s activities.
I will reevaluate the committee system, work to construct and administer an attractive participatory committee system that allows younger members to actively take part in committees and other activities, and I will reevaluate measures for building awareness about member participation so as to facilitate involvement in association affairs.
For patent attorneys affiliated with organizations other than patent offices, a trend which has increased in recent years, I will take a new look at how to make committees as well as association business and activities more attractive.
I will further expand and strengthen the JPAA Research Office in order to build continuity and respond to the growing business of the JPAA, and I will attempt to create a system capable of addressing policy matters through the JPAA Research Office.
I will comprehensively improve the situation of affiliated organizations and their roles, and examine the feasibility of founding the “JPAA Intellectual Property Think Tank (provisional name)” to engage in intellectual property consulting and other activities. Additionally, I will also consider the prospects for establishing the “JPAA Intellectual Property Business Support Center (provisional name)” as an external institution to realize business support for patent attorneys.
Taking into account the experiences since 2005 when branches were established nationwide and activities commenced, I will review and re-allocate the division of roles between the head office and branch offices as well as similarities and differences among, and strive to improve the administrative system of association branch offices.
Bearing in mind the significant increase in the number of patent attorneys, development of IT technology, and other progress, I will work to further enhance and extend member services so that such assistance suits members’ present situations.

7. Planning and implementing programs commemorating the 110th anniversary of the patent attorney system
I will move forward with preparations for planning and implementing celebrations and ceremonies commemorating the patent attorney system’s 110th anniversary in 2009, and endeavor to carry out productive 110th anniversary programs.

8. In closing
The current social and economic situation in Japan is very grave for patent attorneys, but our contributions to social development through service to the intellectual property industry will raise our social value as patent attorneys. As president, I and the eight vice-presidents intend to apply ourselves diligently and with a strong dedication to association business. I respectfully and kindly request the further support and cooperation of association members and everyone concerned.

April 1, 2009

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