Japan

IP STARS Reviews

Patent
Abe Ikubo & Katayama

Abe Ikubo & Katayama provides comprehensive patent services including prosecution and litigation advice. The firm has one of the strongest teams of litigators in this jurisdiction. Its patent attorneys deal with a wide range of sectors including chemicals, life sciences, software, telecommunications and electronics. Notable practitioners include Eiji Katayama, who specialises in patent infringement litigation; Hiroshi Kobayashi, who leads the IP prosecution practice; and Mami Hino, who often files patent term extension applications and deals with patent invalidity trials. Other respected litigators are Shimako Kato, Kaoru Kuroda and Tomohiro Yoneyama. In 2018, the team successfully represented Kowa in a patent infringement matter.

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune has experienced patent attorneys for various technical fields. It also has litigators for IP disputes. The leader of the firm's IP practice is Yasufumi Shiroyama, who focuses on contentious and non-contentious matters in the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors. Expert litigator Yoshikazu Iwase and technology enthusiast Akihito Nakamachi are also notable partners in the practice. Yasufumi Sakiji is another practitioner who is recognised for his expertise in IP infringement actions as well as in IP-related transactions. Key clients include Toyota Motor, Dunlop Sports and Denso.

Aoyama & Partners

Aoyama & Partners is well known for its patent prosecution practice. The professionals at the firm are active in a range of technical fields, especially life sciences and chemistry. Key patent practitioners include Hiroshi Tamura, Norihito Yamao, Michiko Matsutani and Junichi Kawabata. Tamura and Yamao specialise in chemistry and materials science while Matsutani leads the life sciences group.

Asamura Patent Office

Asamura Patent Office is recommended for patent prosecution matters. Its patent expertise covers technical fields such as mechanical, electrical and chemical. Director Yoshiteru Mizumoto heads the mechanical and electrical department. Other notable practitioners in the department are Takayuki Hatanaka and Katsunori Shirae. Experienced practitioners in the chemical practice include Yochi Inoue, Katuhiko Shimomura and Mikio Kameoka.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie handles a range of IP matters, including portfolio management, litigation and commercialisation. It is active in the consumer goods, electronics, and healthcare industries. Kensaku Takase heads the IP group. Partner Kei Matsumoto is well known for his patent litigation work. In 2018, Yuka Matsuzawa joined the firm as an associate. Yosuke Takenaka has been promoted to counsel.

Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner

International law firm Finnegan maintains a solid reputation in IP in this jurisdiction, with strong relationships with Japanese companies in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and software sectors. Managing partner Naoki Yoshida oversees the Tokyo practice. Another notable practitioner in the practice is Chiaki Kobayashi, whose practice encompasses litigation and prosecution. The Japanese team works with colleagues in the international offices to advise clients on European and US IP law. CSL, Toshiba and Toyota Motor are among the firm's notable clients.

Hiroe and Associates

Hiroe and Associates is known for its patent prosecution practice. It has expertise in fields such as pharmaceutical, biotechnology, chemical, electronics and mechanics. Head of IP Takenori Hiroe is active in a range of fields, especially chemistry. Other notable patent practitioners are Masanori Hiroe, Tetsunori Yoshida and Satoshi Hashimoto.

Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells has expertise in contentious and non-contentious patent matters. The firm advises clients on the full life cycle of IP assets, including creation, commercialisation and protection. Its patent practitioners have a wide range of backgrounds including biotechnology and engineering. Key patent practitioners in the firm include Frederick Ch'en and Hiroto Imai. Ch'en specialises in life sciences while Imai is recommended for patent disputes in sectors such as pharmaceutical, medical devices, and telecommunications. The team is representing Zebra Technologies Corporation in a patent litigation matter. Mitsuhiro Yoshimura, Hiroshi Horie and Nicolette Chan joined the firm in 2018.

Kubota

The IP team at Kubota is well regarded for its IP enforcement and litigation practice. The firm works in a wide range of sectors such as the electronics, biotechnology, pharmaceutical and FMCG sectors. Its IP team has handled litigation for Sony, Honeywell, Abbvie and Merck. Founder Eiichiro Kubota heads the patent litigation team. Emiko Yano, Yusuke Inui and Masahito Imai are other key litigators. Kiyoko Nakaoka is a rising star in patent litigation.

Morrison & Foerster

Morrison & Foerster is highly regarded for patent litigation and IP transactional work. Robert Hollingshead is the head of the patent practice in Tokyo; he focuses on licensing and patent litigation concerning electronics, semiconductors and mechanical technologies. Other notable patent practitioners in the practice include David Fehrman, who is experienced in patent prosecution and office proceedings, and patent litigator Max Olson.

Nakamura & Partners

Nakamura & Partners provides excellent patent prosecution and contentious services. The patent attorneys are very experienced in dealing with applications and trials before the Japan Patent Office. Yoshio Kumakura and Koichi Tsujii are leaders in the firm. Other notable patent practitioners include Kazuo Yamasaki, who is a key member of the chemical and biotechnology group, and Hiroyuki Suda, who is part of the electronics and IT group. Masakazu Kobayashi is a rising star to watch. In 2018, the firm successfully defended Ushio in a patent litigation matter.

Nishimura & Asahi

Nishimura & Asahi's IP team specialises in IP disputes and transactional matters. The firm has practitioners who can advise clients on legal issues in emerging technologies such as AI and other sectors like chemical and life sciences. Hiroshi Suga and Hitomi Iwase are key partners in the IP practice. Another notable practitioner in the practice is Yoshiyuki Miyashita, who has expertise in cloud computing, big data and telecommunications. Life sciences/healthcare practitioner Mariko Mimura joined the firm in 2018 as counsel.

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe's Tokyo IP team works closely with colleagues in the US, China and Europe. The team advises Japanese and foreign clients on cross-border disputes, transactions and protection strategy. David Case heads the IP department; he specialises in software, 3D printing and electronics. Notable litigators in the practice are Shinsuke Yakura and Yoshihiro Takatori, who heads the firm's litigation group. Masao Fujino and Anri Nakamoto are rising stars in patent litigation.

Paul Hastings

Paul Hastings' IP team in Tokyo focuses on IP licensing and litigation matters. The firm represents a range of clients including those in the automotive, chemical, life sciences and pharmaceutical sectors. Partner Hiroyuki Hagiwara specialises in cross-border IP disputes and transactions. A notable rising star in the office is US-qualified lawyer Kyotaro Ozawa, who focuses on patent litigation.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan's Tokyo IP team is recommended for patent litigation. The team collaborates with colleagues in the US and Europe. IP litigator Ryan Goldstein heads the Japanese practice. Goldstein understands the high-tech sector. York Faulkner, who joined in 2018, is another key IP litigator in the Tokyo office; he focuses on patent and trade secret. The firm represented Ricoh in a patent infringement case brought by RAH Color Technologies. Clients include Samsung, Sony and Kyocera.

Ryuka IP Law Firm

Ryuka IP Law Firm has a strong practice in the Japanese patent prosecution market. Its patent professionals have academic and industry experience in various areas such as electronics and engineering. Aki Ryuka heads the IP practice. Other notable practitioners include Hideya Akashi, Tadayoshi Higashiyama and Manabu Takata.

Seiwa Patent & Law

Seiwa Patent & Law has expertise in patent disputes and IP transactions. Atsushi Aoki is the president of the firm. Junichi Tsuruta, Kimikazu Ito, Nobuo Sekine, Yoichi Watanabe, Chihiro Minamiyama and Shinji Mitsuhashi are key practitioners in the patent practice. Ito handles patent prosecution work in the fields of mechanical and automobile engineering, while Sekine deals with patent prosecution work in the chemical field. The firm's patent clients include Asahi Kasei, Fujitsu and Novartis.

Shiga International Patent Office

Shiga International Patent Office's IP team is well-regarded in patent prosecution work. Sumio Tanai is the chairman of the firm; he is active in the chemistry, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors. Yasuhiko Murayama and Tatsuhiko Abe are notable senior practitioners in the firm. Rising stars to watch are Hiroyuki Hashimoto, Shimpei Kuroda and Fumio Takahashi. They all focus on patent prosecution. In 2018, counsel Norio Takahashi left the firm and Masakazu Kurose joined as patent attorney.

Sugimura & Partners

Sugimura & Partners is well known for its patent prosecution practice. The IP team provides result-oriented solutions and customised services to clients in various sectors such as electronics, industrial manufacturing, chemical and IT. Managing partner Koji Sugimura leads the IP litigation practice while Kazuyuki Tomita is in charge of the patent prosecution practice. Some key patent practitioners are Haruo Awano, Akihito Okura and Yasuyuki Komatsu. Keisuke Kawahara, Yasuyuki Komatsu and Yamato Okano are rising stars to watch in patent prosecution.

TMI Associates

TMI Associates' IP team is recommended for patent prosecution and disputes work. The team's notable clients are Toyota and Asahi Kasei. Yoshiyuki Inaba and Toyotaka Abe are key practitioners in the patents space. Shuji Shiokawa joined the firm in 2018.

Uchida & Samejima Law Firm

Uchida & Samejima Law Firm's IP team can deal with patent litigation and IP strategy. Senior partner Masahiro Samejima leads the IP team and is active in the material science area. Other notable patent practitioners are Hisanori Oguri, Yuzo Wada, Ken Takami and Akihiko Yagishita. Oguri and Wada specialise in electronics while Takami and Yagishita focus on the chemical sector. The firm is active in the electronics, chemical and biotechnology areas, with clients such as Sony, Daiwa Can and Toshiba Visual Solutions.

Yuasa and Hara

Yuasa & Hara's IP team handles both contentious and non-contentious work. The firm has patent attorneys in a wide range of technical fields. Shinjiro Ono leads the patent practice; he is active in the chemical, pharmaceutical and medical device sectors. Other notable patent practitioners in the practice include Osamu Yamamoto, who heads the chemical division; Motroharu Nakanishi, head of the electrical division; and Toru Miyamae, head of the mechanical division. Patent case studies show the firm assisted Pfizer with an invalidation trial matter and represented AstraZeneca in a patent litigation matter. Partner Takashi Nakata, who dealt with patent prosecution, retired in 2018. Other clients include Astellas, Nippon Paper and Microsoft.

Trade mark
Abe Ikubo & Katayama

The IP department from Abe Ikubo & Katayama has expertise in both the legal and technical areas. On the trade mark side, the firm assists clients with brand protection, enforcement and licensing. Key figure Nabo Ebata deals with anti-counterfeiting, due diligence and trade mark clearance matters. She has clients in the automotive, software and biotechnology sectors. Makoto Hattori handles IP litigation and agreements. Recent case studies show, among other things, the team representing clients in complex trade mark office proceedings.

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune has earned a strong reputation for its contentious work. Its IP team advises notable clients on trade mark and copyright disputes as well as IP transactional matters. Yasufumi Shiroyama, Yoshikazu Iwase and Akihito Nakamachi are key trade mark practitioners in the team. Miki Goto and Masayuki Yamanouchi have been promoted to partners. 

Asamura Patent Office

Asamura Patent Office is recommended for trade mark and design right protection. The team assists clients with IP protection in Japan and abroad. Director Hiroko Hirayama leads the trade mark and design department. Senior partners Ryoji Mochizuko and Kazutaka Otsuka advise clients on protection strategy and agreements. Rhodia Chimie is among the firm's clients. During the research period the firm hired Shuji Kikuma.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie has one of the largest IP law practices for an international law firm in Japan. It comprises both foreign lawyers and Japanese lawyers. The firm has more than 190 trade mark professionals in their Global IP Support Centres in Manila and Belfast. The practice covers trade mark registration and management, IP transactions, disputes, anti-counterfeiting measures, trade secret, copyright and designs. They assist both multinational and Japanese clients in various industries such as automotive, consumer goods and retail, education, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, technology and telecommunications.

Key figures include Kensaku Takase who leads the IP practice and advises on contentious and non-contentious matters in the TMT, consumer goods and retail industries, Daisuke Tatsuno who is active in the TMT and automotive industries and Kei Matsumoto who is active in the TMT and healthcare industries.

Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner

Full-service IP firm Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner is recommended for soft IP work in this jurisdiction. Its global network allows its team to also get involved in US and European IP instructions. Head of IP Naoki Yoshida is the key contact in Japan.

Hiroe and Associates

Hiroe and Associates has a broad trade mark practice covering trade mark applications, infringement issues and licensing. In addition, the team also assists clients with unfair competition and copyright infringement matters. They have a focus on the pharmaceutical and biotechnological areas.

Takenori Hiroe is the head of IP department, while Masanori Hiroe leads the trade mark and design team.

Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells has an IP group in Japan with strong cross-border capability. Lloyd Parker is the head of IP department and advises on trade mark portfolio management and enforcement. Chikako Hashimoto, a counsel, has extensive experience in multi-jurisdictional trade mark and design portfolio management. During the research period Parker advised Sony on trade mark portfolio management including clearance searches, oppositions and cancellations. Clients include Nissan, Suzuki, Sony, Kao and Calbee.

Kubota

Kubota provides trade mark registration and portfolio management services for clients such as H&M, Fast Retailing (UniQlo), Patagonia, Starbucks and Kokuyo.

Key figures include Chiaki Kato who leads the trade mark practice advising on prosecution and pre-litigation counseling, Rika Yamazaki who specialises in fast retail and Tomoko Honami who has acted for the likes of Apple, Starbucks and Patagonia.

Morrison & Foerster

The Japanese IP practice of global firm Morrison & Foerster draws on multidisciplinary lawyers to provide patent, trade mark, copyright, trade secret and unfair competition services.

James Hough and Stuart Beraha lead the litigation department and technology transaction group respectively. Hough specialises in the pharmaceutical and medical device field.

Nakamura & Partners

Nakamura & Partners assists clients with trade mark registration, opposition to trade mark registration and trade mark rights. In addition, the team also advises on cancellation trials and litigation for cancellation of decisions by the JPO before the IP High Court.

Key figures in the team include Hiroyuki Itaki and Daisaku Fujikura both of whom specialise in trade mark prosecution and contentious work.

In 2018, Nakamura & Partners successfully assisted Toho on a trade mark litigation matter.

Nishimura & Asahi

Nishimura & Asahi acts on both prosecution and enforcement as well as infringement and anti-counterfeiting. The firm has extensive experience in the entertainment and media industries.

Key figures include Makoto Shiotani who has extensive experience in IP litigation and transactions, trade mark and design prosecution, anti-counterfeiting and brand management, trade secrets and unfair competition. Partner Hitomi Iwase specialises in trade mark, patents, copyright and other IP related matters in industries such as IT, life sciences, healthcare and entertainment.

In 2018, Mariko Mimura joined the firm, she is active in the life sciences and healthcare areas.

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe

The IP team at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe is active in both contentious and non-contentious matters and is particularly well known for its copyright expertise. Its services span IP licensing, portfolio management and litigation.

Key figures include dual-qualified David Case who assists clients with trade mark, copyright and trade secret cross-border litigation, as well as international arbitration. Partner Yoshihiro Takatori has a focus on the cybersecurity field.

Ryuka IP Law Firm

Ryuka provides services including trade mark prosecution and filings and clients include domestic and international firms, smaller start-up organisations and individual inventors. The IP team is active in the electronics, telecommunications, software, chemicals and biochemistry areas.

Aki Ryuka is the key contact at firm and assists clients with trade mark, patents and designs. Junior partner Masako Osakabe advises on trade mark prosecution and litigation, unfair competition and design.

Seiwa Patent & Law

Seiwa Patent & Law, advises on prosecution, enforcement and litigation. Atsushi Aoki is president of the firm and also heads the trade mark division with partner Nami Togawa. Minako Mizuno leads the firm's design practice while Yasushige Hagio and Kenji Yamaguchi head the litigation practice.

Sugimura & Partners

Sugimura & Partners advises on patent, design, and trade mark prosecution, trial and appeal proceedings before the JPO, counselling and opinion work, due diligence, unfair competition matters and litigation. Clients range from single inventors, to start-ups, multinational firms and academic institutions.

Key figures include Kenichi Nakayama who specialises in trade mark prosecution, unfair competition and litigation. Hisaya Kadota, a rising star, focuses on trade mark and design work.

TMI Associates

TMI Associates provides a wide range of trade mark services including advising on prosecution and infringement. The IP team's clients include Toyota, The Coca-Cola Company, Microsoft, Google and Amazon. Senior partner Yoshiyuki Inaba has extensive experience in patents, trade marks, designs and IP transactions. He is active in the mechanical engineering and pharmaceutical sectors. Mitsuko Miyagawa specialises in brand protection. In 2018 the firm hired Shuji Takada as a trade mark adviser.

Yuasa and Hara

Yuasa and Hara is one of the oldest and largest law firms in Japan. The firm has experienced teams for contentious and non-contentious soft IP matters. A key contact in the firm is Hiromichi Aoki, who advises on trade mark, designs, unfair competition and domain name matters.