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Japan > Intellectual property > International firms and joint ventures > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Intellectual property: international firms and joint ventures
  2. Leading individuals: bengoshi (within international firms and joint ventures)
  3. Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)
  4. Next generation lawyers: bengoshi (within international firms and joint ventures)
  5. Next generation lawyers: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

Leading individuals: bengoshi (within international firms and joint ventures)

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Leading individuals: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

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Next generation lawyers: bengoshi (within international firms and joint ventures)

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Next generation lawyers: foreign lawyers (gaiben)

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One of the ‘best in international IP disputes’, Morrison & Foerster Ito & Mitomi’s practice ‘combines very strong resources in Japan with its first-class US litigation practice, which is of great value to Japanese clients’. In conjunction with US teams, Max Olson defended Fujitsu Semiconductor and its American subsidiary against patent proceedings and appeals brought by Zond to enforce its plasma discharge technology portfolio for semiconductor manufacturing. Patent head Robert Hollingshead represents foreign clients in patent and trade secrets disputes in industries such as telecoms, medical devices and software. Arbitration specialist Louise Stoupe excels in e-discovery and has the ‘ability to handle challenging technical issues in the semiconductor field’. Hollingshead and Steven Comer have a ‘great depth of knowledge’, Chie Yakura is ‘particularly good’ and James Hough is a distinguished litigator. Stuart Beraha’s technology transactions group includes Masato Hayakawa, and advises on licensing, outsourcing and branding agreements, among other matters. Clients include Toshiba and Showa Denko.

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) receives praise for its ‘global-minded’ approach, with practice head Kensaku Takase being singled out for having a ‘good understanding of Japanese and world issues’. Takase's caseload centres on the trade mark, copyright and design issues that arise out of cross-border transactions, as well as IT and media law. Kei Matsumoto focuses on transactional mandates and international patent disputes. Daisuke Tatsuno concentrates on registering, protecting, disputing and licensing IP rights. The practice’s sector expertise includes pharmaceuticals, technology and cosmetics.

Patent troll litigation and multi-defendant cases are strengths for Hogan Lovells Horitsu Jimusho Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo’s patent team, which hired Hiroto Imai from Wada & Watanabe along with consultant Yoshiki Abe. Another key practitioner, Frederick Ch'en, made partner and is highly regarded in the pharmaceutical and technology fields for cross-border litigation involving Europe. Managing partner Lloyd Parker ‘manages his group exceedingly well’ and is a key person for trade mark matters alongside counsel Chikako Hashimoto, who has ‘abundant experience’. Parker led portfolio management advice to PepsiCo, Nissan and Rakuten. Philippe Riesen joined Foley & Lardner.

Jones Day bolstered its outbound work by hiring Maxwell Fox from Ropes & Gray LLP. Fox’s caseload comprises infringement litigation, licensing and counselling matters. Providing a ‘superior service at all levels’, practice head Michiru Takahashi ‘has proven herself to be an expert’ in trade mark prosecution, clearance and infringement. She represented Wikimedia Foundation in an infringement case against a company that allegedly used a similar trade and domain name to the client. Shogo Asaji is the contact for the infringement, analysis, litigation and prosecution of US patent applications. Recent work for him includes representing Akebia Therapeutics in a JPO invalidation proceeding challenging a competitor’s patent for compounds relating to the treatment of anaemia. Other clients include LeSportsac and Dell.

In addition to patents, copyrights and trade mark disputes, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP excels in unfair competition and trade secret actions. David Case leads the department, which includes Yoshihiro Takatori and Shinsuke Yakura, a benrishi with experience in computer software, industrial machinery and numerous other technical disciplines. Nitto Denko instructed Case to bring a US patent infringement suit against Hutchinson Technology, while Takatori and Yakura were successful in Tokyo arbitration for Toshiba Storage and Electronic Devices Solutions Company in a licensing dispute with BaySand.

Respected patent and trade secret litigator Philippe Riesen joined Foley & Lardner from Hogan Lovells Horitsu Jimusho Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo. He is renowned in pharmaceuticals and also has expertise in biotechnology, optics and polymers. Etsuo Doi advises domestic and international companies on patent disputes, negotiations and licensing issues. Other strengths include e-commerce, cross-border transactions, and joint ventures.

Managing partner Peter Godwin is Herbert Smith Freehills’ primary contact for contentious matters, including multi-jurisdictional patent, copyright and collective licensing disputes. Graeme Preston takes charge of non-contentious matters, including transactions, licensing and technology-related work.

US and European patent infringement actions are Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP’s primary focus. Tokyo office head Ryan Goldstein and Wayne Alexander are defending Yokogawa Electric in an ongoing patent infringement case against Automation Middleware Solutions, which involved three patents in automation control technology. Alexander’s workload extends to licensing and litigation involving trade marks and copyright.

Squire Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo Horitsu Jimusho’s wide-ranging practice acts for large domestic companies and multinational businesses with Japanese operations in a broad range of IP issues. As well as unfair competition matters, Kanako Inokuchi undertakes patent infringement, trade mark, design and copyright work. Advising the Central Federation of Societies of Commerce and Industry and Tokyo Metropolitan Government on international trade mark registration was a highlight for Inokuchi. Senior counsels Masao Yoshida and Shigeru Miki are noteworthy practitioners.

Managing partner Naoki Yoshida is Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP’s key figure for the full range of matters, including patent portfolio management and IP due diligence. He is skilled in representing foreign and Japanese clients in front of US district courts and the US International Trade Commission. Yoshida handled US patent prosecution and strategic counselling for Iseki. David Albagli is now a local partner at White & Case LLP – White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association).

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