Nakamura & Partners is an international patent and law firm which provides a wide range of services in the field of intellectual property inside and outside Japan.
The history of Nakamura & Partners commenced on July 1, 1914 (the 3rd year of the Taisho era) when Morio NAKAMATSU, an attorney-at-law and patent attorney, opened Nakamatsu Patent & Law firm in the former Mitsubishi Building 21 famous for its red brick facade, on whose site the Shin Tokyo Building now stands, after serving as the 9th Commissioner of the former Japan Patent Bureau (currently the Japan Patent Office). Later the firm’s name was changed to Nakamura and Partners when Minoru NAKAMURA (an attorney-at-law and patent attorney), who is also famous as a poet, began to act as a representative partner. Since then, the firm has been known as Nakamura & Partners. Shinichiro TANAKA (an attorney-at-law and patent attorney), Hiroyuki SUDA (a patent attorney) and Kazuhiko YOSHIDA (an attorney-at-law and patent attorney) are currently acting as representative partners.
At Nakamura & Partners, approximately 180 staff members, including about 60 patent attorneys and about 20 attorneys-at-law, work to provide various legal services. About 40 partners are involved in managing and supervising the firm.
Our services are mainly provided by the patent (including design) section, the trademark section, the legal section, and the administration group which supports the three sections. At our firm, partners in charge manage and supervise these sections to enhance the quality of our services and to achieve standardized quality in accordance with the fundamental purpose of "provide the highest level services and develop a very trustworthy relation with our clients."
Services provided by our patent attorneys include: agency services for actions such as applications and appeals/trials before the Japan Patent Office and overseas patent offices concerning industrial property rights such as patent rights (inventions), utility model rights (devices), design rights, trademark rights (trademarks and brand names); and related research and expert opinion. Our services further include agency services for actions such as applications for registration of new varieties of plant to be filed with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries under the Plant Variety Protection and Seed Act.
Services provided by our attorneys-at-law mainly cover counseling, expert opinion, litigations on infringement and the like in the field of intellectual property in a broad sense, such as industrial property rights, unfair competition prevention laws and copyrights, inside and outside Japan. Our services further cover: legal services related to international trade and transactions, such as license agreements and agreements on joint research and development; and legal services related to corporate laws in general.
One of the distinguishing features of our firm is that our patent attorneys and attorneys-at-law can simultaneously provide in a highly professional manner a variety of legal services through seamless and close cooperation with each other.
ABE & PARTNERS works in wide areas of international and corporate matters with a focus on intellectual property law and international commerce. The patent litigations that ABE & PARTNERS has participated in to date, covers the fields of pharmaceuticals, chemistry, electronics and machinery, which involve advanced technology such as biotechnology, semiconductors, etc., and which are cross-border matters. Our firm has extensive experience on representing and advising multinational and domestic clients in pharmaceutical industry and is currently involved in the drastic battle between brand pharmaceutical companies and brand pharmaceutical companies and also the one between brand pharmaceutical companies and generic companies. Our firm also have experience of IP due diligence in pharma M&A between big pharma.
Mr. ABE, managing partner of ABE & PARTNERS, is currently a Guest Professor of Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine and formerly a lecturer of The University of Tokyo Graduate School of Medicine and Faculty of Medicine. He is an arbitrator in Japan and sit on various positions in Japanese medical/pharmaceutical societies.
We are an IP Litigation powerhouse for technology, life sciences and health technology in patents, trade secrets and commercial litigation with unparalleled trial success at all levels at each forum and venue. Our approach integrates our practices to provide businesses with comprehensive intellectual property protections. Our litigation expertise and experience also gives us an edge in advising our clients on the likely outcomes of litigation, including in the context of corporate acquisitions and portfolio management. Our approach, which supports “small firm” key partner attention with the “large firm” resources ensures our clients receive effective and efficient representation at every stage of the case. We are committed to helping clients structure the most comprehensive and workable enforcement and defense for all aspects of their intellectual property.
Bench and Jury Trials at the U.S. District Courts
We have litigated and counseled on patent and trade secrets issues across a wide range of industries, including software, hardware, electronics, chemical processes, telecommunications, consumer goods, manufacturing, sales, financial services, and pharmaceuticals.
We are also experts in §101 invalidity challenges with a near-perfect record in district court and the Federal Circuit, pursuing and obtaining attorneys’ fees, and obtaining wins in Federal Circuit appeals.
We are experts in the nuances of life sciences patent litigation, including Hatch-Waxman Act and biosimilars patent litigation under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act, and the intersecting FDA regulatory regime in which these cases operate.
We have handled over 400 post-grant proceedings before the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board, on behalf of both petitioners and patent owners across a wide range of industries.
Our attorneys have been hailed as ones who can be “trust[ed] . . . with crown jewels, and have been described as “PTAB mastermind[s],” “PTAB trial guru[s],” knowing the PTAB “like the back of [their] hands,” and “understand[ing] all the rules and subtleties of IPR proceedings better than anyone I’ve ever worked with.”
Our attorneys worked on the first ever PTAB proceeding on the technology side and also led the first ever successful defense of a pharmaceutical patent.
ITC Section 337 Investigations
We represent both complainants and respondents, and have been at the forefront of recent cutting-edge decisions at the ITC.
We have served as counsel in more than 60 Section 337 Investigations, and have appeared before each of the Presiding Administrative Law Judges (ALJs), including multiple successes before Customs in ensuring our clients’ products are not excluded from the United States.
We represent clients in all aspects of litigation related to arbitration, including bringing and defending motions to compel arbitration, obtaining and opposing interim and protective measures in aid of arbitration, seeking and opposing recognition of arbitral awards, seeking and opposing the annulment of arbitral awards, and disputes over the taking of evidence in the US in aid of international arbitrations and foreign litigation.
We regularly draft, advise, and teach courses on the drafting and interpretation of arbitration and forum-selection agreements in circumstances ranging from simple two-party deals to complex commercial transactions involving multiple parties, jurisdictions, and applicable laws. We recognize that each matter is unique and strive to meet our client’s objectives in the most cost-effective manner.
Supreme Court and Appellate Review
We have top-notch appellate capabilities and can handle an IP litigation matter from start to finish.
Our lawyers are skilled in the art of written and oral advocacy, as well as in simplifying technical arguments for generalist Federal Circuit judges.
We devote our practice to the craft of conceiving and presenting argument on complex, law-intensive issues, bringing to bear our many years of experience in areas of law that cut across traditional legal disciplines, such as constitutional interpretation, damages, procedure, and jurisdiction.
Hiroe and Associates has been providing intellectual property legal services since Takenori Hiroe founded the firm in 1979. Takenori Hiroe graduated from Gifu University with a degree in textile engineering in 1971, and then began working in research and development at Japan Vilene Company Ltd in Tokyo. He obtained his patent attorney’s license in 1978, and in 1979 he returned to Gifu to open his practice.
Since then, it has grown into an organization with clients and associates all over the world. With the success of its international section attributable to the individual skills of each section member, the firm’s service continues to perform and improve. In 2011, Chairman Takenori Hiroe received a Medal of Merit award from the Emperor of Japan, personally recommended by the JPO Commissioner, for his long-time services as a patent attorney.
Led by Takenori Hiroe, the team of experienced patent attorneys, technical specialists, administrative staff, and in-house translators is globally trusted by our clients due to our precision, speed, reliability, and cost performance, and is accomplished for demonstrating a skilled legal proficiency regarding all areas of intellectual property.
The firm has been voted as one of the top patent prosecution firms in Japan by various legal publications, magazines, and is continually practicing the firm’s management philosophy "to contribute to the growth and prosperity of the clients."