World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO and Japan

Use of WIPO Services

PCT System

Since 2003, Japan has been the second largest user of the PCT System. In 2011, the number of PCT applications from Japan increased by 21 percent. Panasonic Corporation was the second PCT applicant in 2011 with 2,463 PCT applications published. Sharp, Toyota, NEC and Mitsubishi were also among the top 15 PCT applicants in 2011, with 15 more Japanese corporations in the top 50.

Within the list of top applicants from the University sector, the University of Tokyo ranked 7th with 98 PCT applications published in 2011. Six other Japanese universities including Kyoto University, Osaka University, Tohoku University, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Hokkaido University and Kyushu University were also among the top 50 universities to use the PCT system in 2011.

Madrid System

Japan joined the Madrid Protocol in 2000 and is already is among the top 10 users of the Madrid System. Japan experienced a slight decrease (-2.5%) in the number of international applications in 2011.

Japan is also among the top six most designated contracting parties, signaling the interest of foreign companies to protect their trademarks in the Japanese market.

Alternative dispute resolution

Since 1999, the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center has handled the cases from 193 Japanese complainants, placing Japan among the top 15 users of the Center’s services for the resolution of domain name disputes.

Voluntary contributions

In 1987, the Government of Japan made its first voluntary contribution to WIPO. Since then Japan has established the following Funds-in-Trusts (FIT) arrangements at WIPO:

Japan FIT for industrial property

Established in 1987.  The activities under this arrangement mainly target developing and least developed countries in Asia and the Pacific region, particularly those countries whose economic and technological growth require an effective framework for the development and transfer of technology. The arrangement maintains flexibility with regard to the participation of countries from other regions.

  • Report on the first twenty years of Japan FIT for industrial property PDF, Report on the First Twenty years of the Japan Funds-in-Trust for Industrial Property

Japan FIT for copyright

Established in 1993.  The activities under this arrangement concern primarily developing countries in Asia and the Pacific region, particularly those developing countries whose economic and cultural development requires the promotion and protection of copyright and related rights.

Japan FIT for Africa

Established in 2008 to support activities aimed inter alia at trengthening the legal and administrative frameworks for intellectual property (IP) protection, modernize IP infrastructure to ensure high quality service to users, and share the experience of Japanese SMEs and experts in business oriented IP management and human resource development.

The FIT arrangements are utilized for the delivery of integrated programs in areas ranging from modernization of IP offices, public outreach and educational activities, facilitating university-industry partnership and better use of IP assets by SMEs, to collective management of copyrights and related rights, and effective enforcement of industrial property and copyrights and related rights.

Through these channels, Japan has supported a number of WIPO-administered projects and activities, and shares its experience in the use of IP for wealth creation, enhanced competitiveness and economic development.

Specific activities

  • organization of regional, sub-regional and national seminars and workshops
  • training courses
  • expert advisory missions
  • long-term fellowship programs
  • provision of office equipment
  • translation of selected WIPO materials.


Japan joined WIPO in 1975; one year after the Organization became a specialized agency of the United Nations.

It is currently party to 15 treaties administered by the Organization and member of 14 WIPO bodies.

Membership in WIPO-administered treaties (date of entry into force in Japan) Membership in WIPO bodies Details/additional information

Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (July 15, 1899) PDF, Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works

  • Paris Act (April 24, 1975)
Berne Union Assembly Details
Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure (August 19, 1980) PDF, Budapest Treaty Budapest Union Assembly


International Depositary Authorities: International Patent Organism Depositary (IPOD), National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) – since May 1, 1981 National Institute of Technology and Evaluation, Patent Microorganisms Depositary (NPMD) – since April 1, 2004

Convention establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO Convention) (April 20, 1975) PDF, WIPO Convention WIPO Coordination Committee
WIPO General Assembly
WIPO Program and Budget Committee
Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms (Phonograms Convention) (October 14, 1978) PDF, Phonograms Convention   Details

International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV Convention) (September 3, 1982 ) PDF, UPOV Convention

  • 1978 Act (September 3, 1982)
  • 1991 Act (December 24, 1998)

Madrid Agreement for the Repression of False or Deceptive Indications of Source on Goods (July 8, 1953) PDF, Madrid Agreement

  • Lisbon Act (August 21, 1965)
  • Additional Act of Stockholm (April 24, 1975)

Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (February 20, 1990) PDF, Nice Agreement

  • Geneva Act (February 20, 1990)
Nice Union Assembly Details

Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (July 15, 1899) PDF, Paris Convention

  • Stockholm Act, Articles 1 – 12 (October 1, 1975)
  • Stockholm Act, Articles 13 – 30 (April 24, 1975)
Paris Union Assembly
Paris Union Executive Committee
Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) (October 1, 1978) PDF, Patent Cooperation Treaty PCT Union Assembly


International Searching Authority (ISA) and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) Agreement PDF, International Searching Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority Agreement

Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (Madrid Protocol) (March 14, 2000) PDF, Madrid Protocol Madrid Union Assembly


Specific information on procedures regarding applications or registrations

Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations (October 26, 1989) PDF, Rome Convention Rome Convention Intergovernmental Committee Details
Strasbourg Agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification (August 18, 1977) IPC Union Assembly Details
Trademark Law Treaty (April 1, 1997) PDF, Trademark Law Treaty   Details
WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) (March 6, 2002) PDF, WIPO Copyright Treaty WCT Assembly Details
WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) (October 9, 2002) PDF, WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty WPPT Assembly


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