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Washington, D.C. -On September 24, 2008, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Jon Dudas met with Commissioner of the Japan Patent Office (JPO) Takashi Suzuki in Geneva, Switzerland. They discussed how the USPTO and the JPO can further promote the existing close relationship between the two offices. They agreed that the expeditious protection of intellectual property rights including patents is critical to fostering technological innovation and accelerating economic development. At the conclusion of their meeting, Commissioner Suzuki and Under Secretary Dudas signed a statement focusing on enhanced mutual cooperation.
The JPO and the USPTO have already been cooperating closely to harmonize patent procedures and to enhance consistency in the quality of patent examination through such programs as the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) and Priority Document Exchange. The statement memorializes the existing cooperation between the two offices and further enhances the mutual cooperation on work sharing and international harmonization of patent and trademark matters, affirming the importance of this cooperative relationship.