President’s Message

As the 12th president of the APAA, it is my greatest pleasure to lead and continue the work of the APAA founding fathers, who had established the association 50 years ago. We started out as an association of three regions consisting of Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, and have grown to include 24 regions with 21 recognized groups, with over 2,500 members. Leading an ever-expanding non-government IP association of this magnitude with a myriad of nationalities and legal jurisdictional differences is no task for a single individual, and I give my deepest appreciation to all the diligently hard-working individuals who are working alongside me in support and leadership.

I have a 20-year history with the APAA. Through my time as an APAA member, councilor, treasurer, and senior vice-president, I have experienced the marvelous transformations of the association under the excellent leaderships of the previous presidents. As each president has a personalized vision for leading the association, I have some objectives of my own that I would like to focus on.

1. Academy

In the IP world, personal relationships are highly valuable not only for business networking purposes, but also for creating lasting friendships, which I believe the social programs of the APAA conferences conduce. At the same time, I would also like to focus on having a more academic atmosphere at the conferences. We remain committed to providing members and attendees to our conferences with professional IP knowledge from various regions around the Asian region, and I aspire to revamp the academic programs.

2. Transparency

I would like to have individuals openly nominated by APAA members for leadership positions in the association. Additionally, all the recognized groups, regardless of their membership size, should have opportunities to raise issues and express their opinions. For instance, the process of planning the meeting agenda should be transparent to all councilors.

3. Publicizing Information

One project that we are currently working on is APAA Public Publications. We presently have APAA e-Newsletters that are sent to the members, but the APAA Public Publications shall be open to all, including non-members. The publications will show the author’s name, which may benefit the authors. APAA Public Publications would not only create more opportunities for members to get active with publicizing IP knowledge for the betterment of all, but will also enable non-members to access the APAA and IP knowledge of the Asian region.

4. Foster Friendship and Business Ties Among Members

I would like to create a cyberspace forum on the website, on which any member can post questions regarding IP matters, and any member can answer questions. If the question leads to an application filing, individuals answering the question may have a greater chance of receiving the case. In this way, the forum may benefit members in knowledge, business, and friendship.

Although it may be difficult to achieve all my objectives during my two-year term as president, I will work to achieve my vision for the association and hope that you join us in raising the association to even greater heights in the IP world.

Hirohito Katsunuma
President, APAA

(2018 – )