International Activities

IP Vitalization Project: Dispatch to Japan-Europe IP Judiciary Symposium, Meetings with EuroIPG, and Other Meetings

In the IP Vitalization Project, Mr. Sakurai (Leader of the delegation, KAJIMA CORPORATION), a vice president of JIPA, Mr. Ohmizu (FUJITSU), a managing director of JIPA, and 2 secretariat members (including a Europe liaison) were dispatched to the following symposium and meetings held in Europe from September 20 to 28, 2016: Japan-Europe IP Judiciary Symposium sponsored by JIPA and other associations, and meetings with the IP Group in Europe (EuroIPG) formed in the European region this year. The delegation members attended the symposium and each meeting in relation to the reform of the IP Dispute Resolution System being considered by the Cabinet Office and the relevant ministries and agencies and the associated enhancement of IP awareness of corporate managers. Additionally, the delegation members collected information on IP strategies necessary for Japanese companies, especially strategies against disputes, by holding meetings with law firms specialized in litigation.

£±”„Japan-Europe IP Judiciary Symposium (EPLAW Europe Japan Mock Trial) (in Paris on September 23)
An IP Judiciary mock trial was held among Germany, France, UK, and Japan at the greatest technical training center called the Maison Des Polytechniciens in Paris. The judge and lawyer of each country both wore gowns, and those of UK conducted a seemingly realistic trial by wearing wigs like medieval musicians' wigs.

The major theme of the mock trial was to show how the judge should give an inspection order and an evidence submission order in relation to the collection of evidence. The judge and lawyer discussed, for example, limitations on the scope of evidence in final inspection and document submission orders as well as limitations on persons allowed to read the evidence. The mock trial was conducted for a slightly complicated case.

To be specific, the mock trial covered a case where a plaintiff company, right holder, asserted infringement based on presumption of a part of a defendant's internal documents, and the presumed part of the documents depended on trade secret information taken out by a former employee of the defendant company. The trial participants considered how to identify information to be collected with the details about the employee and the trade secret information unrevealed. The mock trial was conducted until the execution of an evidence submission order and inspection. As preliminary preparation in response to the application, the trial participants from each country discussed the opinions of technical experts with the judge. The trial participants understood that considerable amounts of tasks and determinations, including the examination of necessity and the identification of necessary information and persons allowed to read the evidence, were required. The results of the mock trial will be helpful for JIPA to formulate opinions on the IP Dispute Resolution System in the future.

£²”„Meetings with EuroIPG and Participating Companies (in Paris on September 22 and in London
””””on September 26)

In Paris and London, the delegation had meetings with EuroIPG (an IP organization of Japanese companies established in Jetro Dusseldorf in February, 2016 in order to investigate IP problems in Europe and conduct information sharing, for example) and local resident staff members of the participating companies. In the meetings with EuroIPG, Mr. Nakano, IP department manager of the Jetro Dusseldorf office, participated in Paris, and corporate members from Hitachi, NEC, Honda, Ricoh, JFE Steel, Canon, and Mitsubishi Electric (member companies of JIPA) were divided into 2 groups: one participated in Paris, and the other participated in London.

The meetings covered reports on the background and current situation of the ongoing reform of the IP Dispute Resolution System in Japan as well as on the aim, agenda items, and atmosphere of the "Global Business Symposium for Corporate Executives" hosted by JIPA in June for information sharing. We also received the following comment: the situation in which the interest of IP-related parties in Japan is directed to corporate activities in Europe, which is leading the world in Industry 4.0 Activities, is fresh information for the local resident staff of the member companies.

£³”„Opinion Exchange with 4 European Litigation Firms (in Paris on September 21 to 22 and in London on September 26)

The delegation members discussed issues such as benchmarks among Japanese companies and other countries with 4 local litigation law firms that handle IP disputes in Europe and are highly evaluated by experts and specific evaluation groups.

The participants of the discussion included lawyers from a UK-based firm, a German-based firm, a France-based firm, and a globally powerful firm (Latin America and Africa). The lawyers from the UK-based and France-based firms were not solicitors handling technology and included a lawyer qualified as a barrister capable of proceeding with trials and negotiations. The participants made interesting discussions on various matters such as differences in litigation procedures including arbitration and mediation, the role of barristers, and differences in characteristics among European and Chinese companies and Japanese IP organizations.

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