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

H.E. Ambassador Dr. Lansana GBERIE

237.   First of all, the delegation of Japan would like to thank the delegation of the United States of America for introducing the document IP/C/W/691. As introduced therein, licensing has been widely practiced as one means to use patent rights. In particular, start-ups, small businesses, and universities or research institutes that are not capable or willing to engage in their own manufacturing can utilize licensing to monetize their patent rights without having to create products at their own expense. Licenses have also been utilized not only for monetizing trademark rights, but also for improving brand recognition, which means that trademark licensing has an important role to play in the area of a company's marketing strategies. 238.   On the other hand, in addition to the fact that IP licensing can take a variety of forms and can often be complicated, making full use of licenses often requires profound legal knowledge and abundant practical experience. For this reason, it can be a challenge for companies or institutes without sufficient knowledge or experience to conclude a fair and reasonable licensing agreement, and to effectively monetize and improve their brand recognition through IP licensing. 239.   In this regard, the Japan Patent Office (JPO) published in 2020 the "Model Contracts for Promoting Open Innovation", together with explanatory booklets, to serve as guidance for business entities and universities to conclude fair IP licensing agreements. Based on the assumption of a specific fictitious story, each of these models provides desirable contract provisions such as those regarding definitions, granting of a license, royalties, attribution of rights, treatment of undisclosed information, cancellation, damages, and dispute settlements. These are also accompanied by clause- by-clause explanations, as well as case studies on negotiations over terms and conditions. 240.   These model contracts provide guidance in the area of fair contracts, as well as useful knowledge for conducting negotiations. While these model contracts are intended for use between domestic entities, they are also intended to serve as a reference for contracts with foreign entities. In addition to model contracts, JPO has continuously published case studies on IP utilization, which introduces actual cases including those where licenses for patent or trademark rights successfully led to gaining profit or recognition. These case studies intend to contribute to the development of strong business strategies and the enhancement of corporate value. They share various forms of IP licenses as examples and are highly appreciated by Japanese IP users as reference material providing helpful guidance when attempting to utilize IP licenses. 241.   Licensing is an important issue in the field of copyright as well. The Agency for Cultural Affairs (ACA) in Japan has provided on its website "Contract Preparation Support System for Copyright Licensing" that semi-automates the creation of a contract template so that even those who are not familiar with copyright licensing can easily make a contract concerning the copyright licensing. And in April this year, in order to respond to the recent situation of increasing production and secondary use of copyrighted works on internet platforms such as SNS, the system was renewed. 242.   It is important for each stakeholder involved in the production and distribution of content to secure appropriately remuneration through contracts. From this point of view, ACA conducted a survey on the cases of international expansion in each of the fields of characters, animes, mangas, games, and drama films, and have prepared and published the case studies summarizing key points in copyright licensing. We hope that today's introduction will be useful to other Members. The delegation of Japan also looks forward to sharing experiences with other Members.

The Council took note of the statements made.
60. The Chair recalled that this item had been put on the agenda at the request of Australia; Canada; the European Union; Hong Kong, China; Japan; Singapore; Switzerland; Chinese Taipei; the United Kingdom; and the United States. A communication with the same title had been circulated (document ).
61. The representatives of the United States; Australia; Uruguay; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Japan; the United Kingdom; the European Union; Switzerland; Canada; Hong Kong, China; China; Chile; and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) took the floor.
62. The Council took note of the statements made.
IP/C/M/105, IP/C/M/105/Add.1, IP/C/M/105/Corr.1