Minutes - TRIPS Council - View details of the intervention/statement

H.E. Ambassador Dr Walter Werner
186.   First of all, the delegation of Japan would like to express its sincere appreciation to the Secretariat for providing us an opportunity to share our ideas and experiences. Just for your information, handouts of the slides of this presentation are available at the entrances of this room. 187.   Firstly, this delegation would like to mention that innovation can contribute to a higher quality of living, which is also emphasized in the concept paper. Last year, the WIPO introduced "10 Innovations That Are Improving Lives", at WIPO-World-IP-Day. They are examples that improve lives, such as Medical Delivery Drones, which deliver vital medical supplies to patients living in difficult-to-reach parts; and mobile water-safety checking systems that help users to find, monitor and map the quality of water and sanitation sites. 188.   At the same time, this delegation would also like to emphasize that "Innovation and IP have a positive correlation". For instance, please have a look at the bar graph on the lower left of this slide, which shows the number of patent applications for inventions on data structures field. Looking at this bar graph, you will note the surges of patent applications filed during 2001-2006, the era when DVD technology was developed; and 2009-2013, the era when video-distribution-technology was developed. Picking up this graph as an example, this delegation is of the view that "Innovation and IP potentially have synergy effects to improve people's lives." 189.   We now will show you an example of the startup company that made good use of IP to improve people's lives through its product. 190.   Slide 2 shows the world's first, fully automatic laundry-folding robot developed by a Japanese start-up company. The product called "Laundroid" was developed by the company "seven dreamers laboratories, inc." Laundroid is based on a combination of advanced technologies, namely image analysis, AI, and robotics. The product was exhibited at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2018. And the company was awarded as the regional final at the Start-up World Cup 2018. 191.   The company says, the product can save 375 days of your lifetime because it is estimated that the average person spends about 375 days folding clothes. In this regard, this delegation would like to reemphasize that the product definitely improves people's lives. Taking this opportunity, this delegation would like to show you a short video which illustrates this interesting product 192.   This delegation would like to mention how the company succeeded in developing Laundroid. Firstly, the company was smart enough to adopt a comprehensive IP strategy. Specifically, or simply, it carefully chose whether its technology should be opened or closed, that is, filing it as a patent application or protecting it as undisclosed information. Secondly the president of the company took the initiative to raise the employees' awareness of IP by following the IP strategy. 193.   In conclusion, such IP-oriented activities led to the company's forming alliances with big companies that also have the latest technologies. Furthermore, having the IP rights, the company improved its credibility, which led to ample fundraising from banks as well as government agencies. 194.   This delegation would like to stress here that "the stable and efficient IP system has supported and promoted innovations that improve lives." 195.   In this connection, from the viewpoint of governmental policies, this delegation would also like to mention that the Japan Patent Office released a brochure in April this year called "IP Strategies for Start-ups", which targets small-scale companies. This brochure highlights best practices for start-ups, including "Actually faced IP issues with IP" and "How companies in and outside Japan overcame and succeeded" based on real cases. This delegation believes that this brochure can assist start-up companies in developing business strategies utilizing IP, and further contribute to developing innovations that can improve lives. 196.   As we have seen in the slides, a stable and efficient IP system can support and promote ground-breaking innovations such as Laundroid that make our lives easier. Since this delegation is of the view that innovation and IP potentially have synergy effects that can improve and make our lives easier, Japan will remain committed to developing the even more user-friendly IP system to encourage further innovations.
33.   The Chair said the TRIPS Council had regularly conducted annual reviews of technical cooperation and capacity building activities at its end of the year meeting, based on reports submitted by developed country Members, international organizations and the WTO Secretariat. In line with past practice, he suggested the following approach:
a. The next review should take place at the meeting of the TRIPS Council, scheduled for 89 November 2018;

b. Developed country Members were invited to submit information on their activities, pursuant to Article 67 of the TRIPS Agreement. Other Members who also engage in technical cooperation were, of course, encouraged to share information if they so wished;

c. Intergovernmental organizations with observer status in the TRIPS Council, as well as the WTO Secretariat, were invited to report on their relevant activities; and

d. The deadline to submit written information would be set on 12 October 2018, i.e. four weeks prior to the TRIPS Council meeting, in order to allow timely circulation before the meeting.
34.   The Council so agreed.
IP/C/M/89, IP/C/M/89/Add.1