The Legal 500

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The firm

SUGIMURA International Patent & Trademark Attorneys is a leading intellectual property law firm in Japan which has earned a reputation for quality and is repeatedly ranked among top Japanese patent and trademark firms. It has offices in Japan and the United States, providing convenient IP services to both domestic and international clients.

SUGIMURA was founded in 1923 by Japanese patent attorney and engineer, Nobuchika Sugimura. Prior to founding SUGIMURA, Nobuchika was an engineer within the research and development department of what is currently Toshiba Corporation.

In 1925, Nobuchika assisted Dr Hidetsugu Yagi in securing a patent for the YAGI-Uda Antenna. Dr Yagi is listed among the ten Japanese great inventors by the Japan Patent Office for this very invention.

In 1943, Nobuchika became the first chairman of the Japanese Patent Attorneys Association (JPAA), the professional association of more than 9,000 patent attorneys practicing in intellectual property law in Japan. Nobuchika helped shape the formative years of the JPAA, which has become a foundation in Japanese patent activity.

In 1961, Nobuchika was awarded the Blue Ribbon Medal by the Emperor of Japan for all his contributions as a patent attorney. This award is given to a select 900 people every year for their achievements in public interest. They are honoured as role models of society.

SUGIMURA’s legacy endures with the firm’s commitment to quality patent protection, prompt service and competitive rates. The firm’s size and structure allow it to tailor services and put forward the best team possible for each client.

Areas of practice

SUGIMURA represents Japanese and international clients pursuing patent, design and trademark protection in Japan. The firm’s clientele range from single inventors and start-ups to well established academic institutions and multinational corporations from all sectors of the global economy, including automotive, aviation, transportation, food and beverages, consumer goods, fashion, sports and recreation, colleges and universities, chemical, software and hardware, electronics, e-commerce, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical, energy, agriculture, entertainment and media, construction, semiconductors, optics, telecommunications and manufacturing.

The firm’s patent and trademark attorneys are not only skilled in the nuances of intellectual property laws and regulations; they are also technical experts in virtually every industry. The firm’s attorneys have years of experience working in-house at major corporations as researchers, engineers, and IP professionals. The firm also has attorneys who have served for decades at the Japan Patent Office (JPO). This combination of expertise allows the firm to understand the perspectives of corporations and patentees as well as the JPO, enabling it to deliver practical and effective solutions to further clients’ business objectives.

SUGIMURA possess significant experience in providing legal advice to international clients concerning IP rights in Japan and often consult on the important differences in Japanese IP law from clients’ domestic IP laws, application and enforcement procedures, and infringement suit representation. Through the multilingual teams at SUGIMURA, attorneys are able to meet with foreign clients regularly to develop IP strategies that meet the client’s business goals, discuss intricate technical and legal issues, and give tutorials on Japanese IP practice.


Other offices Palo Alto


Number of lawyers 50
Worldwide 53

Above material supplied by SUGIMURA International Patent and Trademark Attorneys.

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