The Legal 500

Work +81 3 5220 6500
Fax +81 3 5220 6556
Tokyo, Beijing

Shogo Matsunaga

Work +81 3 5220 6500
Sonderhoff & Einsel Law and Patent Office

Work Department

Intellectual property, labour, general corporate and cross-border transactions.


IP and labour counsel with extensive experience advising European and U.S. industries and expatriate executives at multinational companies. Matsunagas area of IP practice includes patent, trade mark, unfair competition and trade secrets. Matsunaga has established unique and effective anti-counterfeiting practices that have gained great favour with prominent luxury brands, as well as cosmetic, sports and emerging fashion brands. Matsunaga also developed his advocacy skills in dismissal cases involving senior executives at multinational companies, which are rarely protected by local labour laws. Matsunaga has enjoyed a great deal of success in concluding highly favourable out-of-court settlements for his clients.


IPtrust Inc 1993-2007; corporate auditor Bruker AXS 2011 to date; corporate auditor Bruker Biospin 2011 to date; corporate auditor Bruker Daltonics 2011 to date; corporate auditor Bruker Optics 2011 to date; visiting scholar University of Washington School of Law 2013-2014; designated legal counsel Austrian Embassy in Tokyo 2014 to date. Current directorships: counsel. Publications of note: ‘Stacking No More an Issue? – Trends in U.S. Judicial RAND Royalty Decisions ‘ (July issue of ‘Patent News ‘ 2015, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry); ‘Overview of Patent Infringement Litigation Proceedings and FRAND-Related Issues in Germany ‘ (March issue of ‘Patent News ‘ 2015, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry); ‘Determining availability of injunctive relief based on standard essential patents: a study of CJEU opinions given Nov. 20, 2014 ‘ (December issue of ‘Patent News ‘ 2014, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry); ‘Study of US Court Decision(s) Recognizing FRAND Royalty ‘ (October issue of ‘Patent News ‘ 2014, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry); ‘Apple v. Samsung: Summary and Analysis of Opinions Submitted to IP High Court Grand Panel ‘ (LES JAPAN NEWS Vol.55 No.3, September, 2014, coauthor); ‘Apple v. Samsung: Overview of Decisions and Judgment of IP High Court Grand Panel ‘ (July issue of ‘Patent News ‘ 2014, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry); ‘Study of Two US Court Decisions Recognizing RAND Royalty for SEP and Tokyo District Court Decision Denying Damage Claim Based on SEP ‘ (CIPIC Journal 2013, Customs Intellectual Property Information Center).


Japanese, English.


IP division of Tokyo Bar Association; research group of Standard Essential Patent at Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; brand management committee of Japan Trademark Association; LESJ (Licensing Executives Society Japan); IP Law Network for Lawyers; INTA (International Trademark Association).


The Legal Training and Research Institute of the Supreme Court of Japan (2008); Waseda University, Tokyo (2008 LLB).


Offshore fishing, sailing, and tennis.

Japan: Intellectual property

Independent local firms

Within: Independent local firms

Sonderhoff & Einsel Law and Patent Office has a notable concentration of German corporates within its international client base. The practice covers the licensing, translation and prosecution of IP rights in diverse industries, including manufacturing and chemicals. Felix-Reinhard Einsel and Shogo Matsunaga are recommended.

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Legal Developments in Japan

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Taking control of a Japanese publicly listed company:

    Introductory notes for successfully completing an M&A
  • Yuasa and Hara Business Law News

    Contents of the Issue Law on liability for breach of contract Review on the amendment to the cabinet office order on Corporate Disclosure

    The Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter (“the Minister”), has published the Criminal Justice Bill 2011 (“the Bill”). The main purpose of the Bill is stated to be “…to amend the criminal law to improve certain procedural matters and strengthen Garda investigative powers. The intention is that such improvements will assist in reducing the delays associated with the investigation and prosecution of complex crime, in particular white collar crime.”
  • Japan: New legislative framework for Sukuk

    The new framework passed in May 2011 will provide a solid legal platform for issuing Sukuk Ijarah under Japanese law. NAOKI ISHIKAWA highlights key legal structures and tax treatment in respect of the anticipated Sukuk issuances in Japan.
  • Yakult Bottle Acquired Distinctiveness

    Do you know about Yakult's delicious lactic acid drink which is contained in a small bottle? Yakult's lactic acid drink (hereafter referred to as "Yakult drink") is the most famous lactic acid drink in Japan and today is also being sold in many countries around the world. When you are enjoying Yakult drink, please keep in mind the case mentioned below.
  • Tax: Japan: International Joint Ventures

    Tax on international joint ventures. Country Q&A (Japan).
  • Japan: Recent Developments in Practice and Law

    The successful closing of two Islamic fi nance transactions which was announced in July 2010 by Nomura Holdings have paved a concrete path for Japanese corporations to consider overseas Islamic fi nance markets for their fund raising activities. The fi rst transaction was in Asia for the issuance of Sukuk Ijarah and the second was in the Middle East for the establishment of a Commodity Murabahah facility (Nomura Deals).
  • Renewable energy takes off in Japan

    Like many other countries, Japan has decided to reform its renewable energy (RE) policy, to dramatically increase the use of renewable energy. The core policy mechanism is a feed-in tariff (FIT). This chapter summarises the contemplated Japanese FIT and its practical impact on existing and future investment in this sector, providing an overview of:
  • Licensing - 2010

    Q & A on Licensing in Japan 
  • Law on the Civil Jurisdiction of Japanese Courts over Foreign Countries, etc.

    The Law has been enacted to clarify the scope of application of the civil jurisdiction of Japanese courts over foreign countries, etc., and set exceptions to civil preocedings involving foreign countries, etc., based on the United Nations Convention on the Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their property (UN Convention on Immunities) (see Article 1).