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NEW DELHI: India and Japan have agreed to recognize each other’s offices to act mutually as competent International Searching and International Preliminary Examining Authority (ISA/IPEA) for any international patent application filed with them.

The agreement was arrived at during the 4th review meeting between the department for promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT) and the Japan Patent Office (JPO) last week under memorandum of cooperation (MoC) on industrial property.

The first phase of the meeting was co-chaired by Guruprasad Mohapatra, secretary, DPIIT and Toshihide Kasutani, commissioner, JPO wherein the first year of the pilot Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) programme was reviewed. The second phase of the meeting was co-chaired by Ravinder, joint secretary, DPIIT and Kasutani.

Both sides reviewed the progress under the MoC on industrial property between India and Japan, as well as the Action Plan between the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (CGPDTM) of India and the JPO based on the MoC. The two sides confirmed their views to further deepen the cooperative relationship between both the offices for the future cooperation.

At the meeting, both sides reconfirmed the importance of innovations that support society and the essence of a robust Industrial Property system for promoting investment and innovation amidst the challenging times of the covid-19 pandemic. “Both sides acknowledged the importance of strengthening IP enforcement, enhancing capacity building, raising IP awareness and encouraging innovation to promote their goals," DPIIT said in a statement.

The DPIIT expressed its appreciation to the JPO for its cooperation in conducting training programmes to welcome trainees from India since the last meeting and the JPO agreed to continue conducting the invitational training programmes for Indian stakeholders.

Recognizing the importance of industrial designs as industrial property, both sides agreed to continue cooperation in industrial design education. Both sides agreed to commence the function of offices acting mutually as competent ISA / IPEA under the PCT, from 1 July 2021. India and Japan also agreed to hold a meeting of experts, as needed, for smooth and appropriate operation.

Both sides decided to hold a meeting at least once a year of experts to discuss the functioning of the Japan-India Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot programme. They agreed to continue holding an Information Exchange Programme of patent experts from the offices to further enhance mutual understanding of the patent examination practices. They also agreed to hold the IT experts meeting once a year between the offices to share information and experiences on initiatives regarding development of IT infrastructure.

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