International Activities

The 13th Session of the WIPO Madrid Working Group

During November 2nd ? 6th, 2015, the 13th session of the Madrid Working Group was held at WIPO in Geneva, Switzerland. The Madrid Working Group session is an international conference held once a year to share issues related to the Madrid Protocol and common rules and review and discuss the revision of the regulations, etc.
This time, delegations from the Madrid Protocol member countries (54 countries) and non-member countries (8 countries) as well as 13 international organizations and relevant organizations took part in the conference.
From Japan, the Japan Patent Office, the Japan Patent Attorneys Association, the Japan Trademark Association, and JIPA participated, and JIPA sent 2 committee members, Mr. Okubo from Fujitsu and Mr. Yoshida from Toyota.
This year, "freezing of Central Attack in the Madrid Protocol" and "relaxation of trademarks identity requirements" (described in detail below) which would have a significant influence on Japanese companies had appeared on the agenda. Thus JIPA sent committee members from the JIPA trademark committee for the purpose of delivering opinions from Japanese corporate users.
A summary of the opinions stated from JIPA is as follows.

(1) Freezing of Central Attack
On the day, discussions were made based on a user questionnaire survey on the Central Attack which had been carried out by the International Bureau in advance. Many of European countries and so on expressed opinions against the freezing of the Central Attack whereas many of Japanese relevant organizations including JIPA and delegations from other countries expressed opinions in favor thereof, resulting in heated discussions. Consequently, in order to set up a user-friendly system, it was decided that the opinions given this time would be organized to proceed with further consideration in the next fiscal year.

(2) Relaxation of trademark identity requirements
In order to appeal the relaxation of "trademark identity requirements," which are required for filing international applications, the Japan Patent Office and JIPA worked together to make a presentation jointly in order to introduce the actual situation of examination in Japan as well as issues and cases in Japanese companies.
After JIPA introduced specific in-house cases of its member companies, many of the delegations from various countries expressed opinions in favor of the relaxation of the requirements. Thus it was decided that this issue would continue to be discussed in more detail in the next fiscal year.

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