Friday, March 28, 2008

The Association of Intellectual Property Education Starts the World's First, Globalized ''Intellectual Property Management Skills Test''

The Association of Intellectual Property Education (President: Yuji Tanahashi, Minato-Ku, Tokyo) has been nominated by the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare as the test agency to develop examination content for the new national "Intellectual Property Management Skills Test" to commence from July 2008. The announcement was made on 18 March.

International Intellectual Property Management and Practical Strategic Skill in the Global Age
At present, in the intellectual property field, national examinations such as the "Patent Attorney Examination" are mainly concerned with the practice, knowledge and skills of dealing with filing applications required to operate as an agent in the home country's patent office. In the Japanese domestic economy - mainly manufacturing, such as consumer-electronics and automobile manufacture - the domestic market has already become saturated whereas the sales rate in foreign countries has increased. Accordingly, the global economy becomes more significant, and the practical skills for global intellectual management and strategy are required more than ever to improve the relative international position of Japanese companies in the future. However, any suitable national examinations were not available on a global basis.

Against this background, the newly initiated "Intellectual Property Management Skills Test" provides a world's first national examination for typical Japanese in a highly technical, competitive field, to support the establishment of global intellectual property rights and business expansion for enterprises. Therefore, the core purpose of this examination relates not only to the procedures and intellectual property rights of the Japanese Patent Office, but also to the United States, Europe, China, Korea India, etc. and is to evaluate intellectual property management, practical knowledge for strategy and know-how for associated enforcement in crucial markets.

Toward the "Intellectual Property-Based Nation", the Examination Committee Consists of Relevant Ministries and Associations in a Cross-Sectional Manner
Since the declaration of the "Intellectual Property-Based Nation" by the Koizumi Administration in 2002, Japan has operated various approaches to turn its aspirations for the development of intellectual property expertise into reality. This includes human resource development through the setting up of an Intellectual Property Strategy Headquarters, the new enforcement of the "Intellectual Property Basic Act", and the amendment of related laws and regulations such as Patent Law, Copyright Law, and the Unfair Competition Prevention Act.

Recognizing the complication of assignments across ministries and agencies that have existed in the past in the field of intellectual property, the new examination builds a coalition of cross-sectional cooperative structures to this area. The examination board participates in the crossover traditional government agencies, such as the Japan Patent Office, the Ministry of the Economy, Trade and Industry (Office of Intellectual Property Policy), the Agency for Cultural Affairs (Copyright Section) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (Seeds and Seedlings Division). In addition, the board plays an active role in the traditional national qualification bodies, notably the Japan Federation of Bar Associations and the Japan Patent Attorneys Association.

The Examination Progresses from "Grade 1" Required Advanced Practical Ability to "Grade 3" to Expand the Human Resource Capacity within Intellectual Property
It divides into "Exam in Academic Subjects" and "Practical Exam", which cover required basic knowledge and practical knowledge respectively. Grade 1 evaluates advanced international intellectual property management and practical strategic ability, in particular. There is an oral examination for the practical element. It is prohibited to take away exam papers, exceptionally.

This purpose of the examination is to refine and evaluate practical skills. However, Grade 3 targets full members of the society and students. The leaking of classified business information and know-how, the sale of fake brand-name products and the sale of pirated software in daily life are social issues. Therefore, this association attaches importance to the development of intellectual property through the Grade 3 examination to raise awareness of intellectual property to address these issues.

Human Resource Development in Intellectual Property to Promote Japan to the World Stage - Compliance with Intellectual Property Education Program in the United Nations Agency for Grade 3
Additionally, the content and level of Grade 3 is compliant with the Universal Intellectual Property Education Program developed by the UNs’ World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). From the aspect of international contributions to develop the real global economy through the improvement of intellectual property mind internationally, we have appealed to WIPO to offer all Grade 3 copyrights as a voluntary conveyance for human resource development in foreign countries.

We have been concerned to promote the understanding of the intellectual property field through the "Intellectual Property Test" (a total of more than 40,000 have taken part in exams from March 2004). Through the new "Intellectual Property Management Skills Test", we increase our efforts, by way of precise exam management and PR activity, as the nominated institution to contribute to the national promotion of human resource development for intellectual property.

1) What is the Intellectual Property Management Skills Test?
The "Intellectual Property Management Skills Test" (hereinafter "IPMST") is a test related to the profession of "Intellectual Property Management", which is one of the skills test systems for the national examination institution. The profession of "Intellectual Property Management" is based on operational work within companies and associations. Its aims are the creation, protection and utilization of intellectual property of inventions, utility models, designs, trademarks, trade secrets, and copyrighted work. In particular, this profession is of value in creative business, patent mapping and strategic planning for applications, and procedural management in its protection sections; license strategic planning in its utilization sections; and trade secret management in the management of intellectual property. IPMST is an examination to assess the degree of these skills and the related knowledge. The coverage and the level of IPMST is compliant with "Intellectual Property Skill Standard" of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
("Intellectual Property Skill Standard" URL:

The Skills Test is a national examination system to determine and officially recognize a working person's skill according to certain standards. It is operated by promoting the occupational knowledge, skills and professionalism of workers. Furthermore, it contributes to the development of industry based on the Human Resources Development Promotion Law (governed by the Ministry for Health, Labour and Welfare). The Skills Test has a significant role in increasing skills and learning motivation, promoting employment stability and smoothing reemployment, and improving the wider recognition afforded to people working in the intellectual property field.

About the Association of Intellectual Property Education -
The aim of the Association of Intellectual Property Education is to spread knowledge and education within the intellectual property field through the skills test system, and simultaneously to promote the qualities and abilities of the human resources working in this field. It also makes a significant contribution to the goals of an Intellectual Property-Based Nation in our country. As specific achievements, we became the nominated provider of the private examination "The Examination of Proficiency in Intellectual Property" (2004-March, 2008) which has had 40,000 examinees to date. The Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare appointed us as the test agency for the new national examination "Intellectual Property Management Skills Test" on February 29, 2008.

The Association of Intellectual Property Education

Tomoyuki Kanai, +81-3-3438-2147
(Japanese correspondence only)
Fax: +81-3-3438-2148

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