May 15, 2008

JAMA Establishes Intellectual Property Committee
-Created to Address Expanding Needs-

The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) has to date addressed intellectual property issues through a subcommittee functioning under its Technical Administration Committee. In view of trends and developments in regard to intellectual property in recent years, however, JAMA decided to upgrade this entity to full committee status effective as of April 1.

Background for Committee Launch

In 2002, gearing up for a national commitment with respect to intellectual property protection, the Japanese government passed a basic law governing intellectual property. The following year saw the establishment of the Intellectual Property Strategic Headquarters and the formulation of the Intellectual Property Strategic Program, updated in 2007.

Along with the increasing need to address intellectual property issues within the realm of corporate activity, important developments have taken place in recent years, both in the domestic and international arena, impacting the Japanese automobile industry’s ability to sustain its global competitiveness.

To help ensure sustainable growth, the industry is determined to remain in the global technological vanguard for vehicle safety and environmental performance and vigorously promote the protection and use of the intellectual property rights that are the fruit of resulting engineering breakthroughs.

Purpose of Committee Launch

The work of JAMA’s Intellectual Property Subcommittee was to share pertinent data among JAMA member companies, communicate viewpoints and formulate policy proposals. Evolving conditions, however, have underscored the need for activities to be conducted that yield, with greater flexibility, more effective and timely results.

To that end, therefore, JAMA reached the decision to upgrade the subcommittee to full committee status as the Intellectual Property Committee, whose principal activities will be the following:

  • Information sharing and the promotion of opinion exchanges with legislative and administrative entities in Japan and abroad; communication of positions on intellectual property issues; and other efforts aimed at the implementation and updating of a wide range of pertinent policies.
  • Establishment under its administration of the Intellectual Property Planning Subcommittee and Intellectual Property Focus Subcommittee to more effectively identify mid- to long-term issues and formulate policy proposals, while working to forge partnerships with other sectors of industry and implementing measures of its own accord.

Principal Targeted Issues

1. Short-Term Issues:

  • Measures to combat the proliferation of counterfeit parts (consumer awareness-raising, support for enforcement authorities, etc.);
  • Measures to combat vehicle design imitation (enhancing awareness of the importance of design creativity, countermeasures to combined imitations, etc.).

2. Mid- to Long-Term Issues:

  • Early achievement of agreements/treaties banning the proliferation of counterfeit parts and imitation products;
  • Promotion of international harmony among different intellectual property systems1 (homogeneity at Japan-U.S.-EU tripolar inspection level, support for Asian patent system, research into/identification of sound design systems2, etc.);
  • Research into intellectual property systems relative to the automobile industry’s international competitiveness (employee invention systems, countermeasures to patent trolling, responses to the standardization of intellectual property systems, technology transfer protection, etc.). 1Promotion of international cooperation with global patents in mind, focused on patent administration collaboration primarily through the tripolar partnerships of Japan, the United States and Europe and of Japan, China and South Korea. 2Design systems that contribute to the sound development of creativity in societies and communities by ensuring appropriate protection and the viable use of design concepts with original characteristics, thereby supporting brand creation.

(See organization chart below.)

(Reference:) JAMA Intellectual Property Committee Organization

Committee Organization