SUGIMURA & Partners > Tokyo, Japan > Firm Profile

SUGIMURA & Partners
TOKYO 100-0013

Japan > Intellectual property: Independent local firms

Patents and trade mark law firm SUGIMURA & Partners is noted for for its wealth of experience representing domestic and international clients in IP disputes before the Japanese Patent Office and the IP High Court. Key contacts include Kenji Sugimura and Koji Sugimura.

 The firm: SUGIMURA & Partners is a leading intellectual property law firm in Japan. The firm was founded in 1923 initially as SUGIMURA International Patent & Trademark Attorneys, and has been relaunched as of 1 March 2017 as SUGIMURA & Partners, with enhancement of its legal services. SUGIMURA has earned a reputation for high quality and is repeatedly ranked among the top Japanese patent and trade mark firms. It has offices in Japan and the US, providing convenient IP services to both domestic and international clients.

Areas of practice: SUGIMURA represents Japanese and international clients in patent, design, and trade mark prosecution, trial and appeal proceedings before the JPO, counseling and opinion work, due diligence, unfair competition and litigation and dispute resolution matters in Japan. The firm’s clientele ranges from single inventors and start-ups, to well established academic institutions and multinational corporations from all sectors of the global economy.

SUGIMURA delivers results-oriented solutions and offers customised services tailored to clients’ needs. It ensures close collaboration among its practice groups in order to provide clients with comprehensive multidisciplinary patent and trade mark protection across industry sectors. SUGIMURA’s attorneys combine legal insight, technical expertise, and business acumen to deliver practical solutions and strategies for intellectual property protection in Japan.

SUGIMURA has earned an international reputation for quality in Japanese IP practice and is repeatedly ranked among top Japanese patent and trade mark law firms. Its patent and trade mark attorneys possess expertise in virtually every technology sector.

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

In order to better serve its foreign clients, SUGIMURA established a regional office in Palo Alto, California, the heart of Silicon Valley. Having a US presence allows SUGIMURA to offer better accessibility covering a wider range of time zones for foreign clients. SUGIMURA’s Silicon Valley and Tokyo offices work together seamlessly to deliver tailored solutions and around-the-clock service.

SUGIMURA’s attorneys are active in their community, presenting on topics regarding Japanese IP practice at in-house client presentations, patent seminars, and law school classes. The firm also publishes articles on Japanese IP practice in magazines distributed around the world.

Department Name Email Telephone
Litigation and legal services Koji Sugimura
Foreign filing Tatsuya Sawada
Trial and appeal procedures Tetsuo Tsukanaka
Patent prosecution Kazuyuki Tomita
Trademarks and design prosecution Ken Nakayama
Counseling and opinion work Hayato Maeda
Due diligence Takayoshi Kawai
Unfair competition Ken Nakayama
Design prosecution Yuko Muramatsu
Life sciences Tetsuo Tsukanaka
Image processing and optics Kenichi Shimoji
Communication technology Akihito Okura
Industrial manufacturing Yasuyuki Komatsu
Electrical and computer technology Yamato Okano
Chemistry Hiroshi Ikeda
Material science Keisuke Kawahara
Pharmaceutical Koichiro Jin
Automotive Yusuke Yamaguchi
Photo Name Position Profile
Haruo Awano photo Mr Haruo Awano Mr Awano is a director of Intellectual Property Operation. His practice encompasses…
Yuko Muramatsu photo Ms Yuko Muramatsu Ms Muramatsu is a head of trademarks and designs. Her practice encompasses…
Ken Nakayama photo Mr Ken Nakayama Mr Nakayama is the Director of Intellectual Property Operations. He is a…
Koji Sugimura photo Mr Koji Sugimura Koji Sugimura is one of the managing partners of SUGIMURA & Partners.…
Kenji Sugimura photo Mr Kenji Sugimura Mr Sugimura is a Managing Partner of the firm. As an experienced…
Kazuyuki Tomita photo Mr Kazuyuki Tomita Mr. Tomita is one of SUGIMURA’s Executive Directors, overseeing the Patent Prosecution…
Patent Attorney / Attorney at law : 1
Patent Attorneys : 65
UK/EP Patent Attorney : 1
Japanese Patent Attorney/U.S. Patent Agent : 1
U.S. Patent Attorney : 1
U.S. Attorneys : 2
U.S. Patent Agent : 1
Japan Patent Attorneys Association (JPAA)
Japan Intellectual Property Association (JIPA)
Associaion Internationale pour la Protections de la Propri?t? Intellectuelle (AIPPI)
Asian Patent Attorneys Association (APAA)
F?d?ration Internationale de Conseils en Propri?t? Industrielle (FICPI)
International Trademark Association (INTA)

SUGIMURA & Partners is committed to diversity, inclusivity and equity in all aspects of our firm. Our firm respects and welcomes people from all backgrounds, irrespective of gender, gender identity, race, nationality, religion, age, sexual orientation, marital status, and mental or physical disability.

At SUGIMURA, we believe that diversity is a source of creativity and innovation, and key to our long-term success as a firm. We actively strive to build a diverse and inclusive workplace in which all members can flourish without fear of discrimination or harassment.

Our commitment to these principles is demonstrated through the diversity of our members. We have achieved equal gender ratio within our members and continue to hire people from all around the world. Our firm includes members with disabilities who are empowered to contribute positively to the workplace. Our members have a wide distribution of ages, and whilst we welcome younger generations, we continue hire experienced IP professionals in the later stages of their careers.

SUGIMURA recognises the need to adapt its working practices to ensure that all employers can function in a safe working environment in the COVID-19 era. We encourage our employees to work from home where possible and have introduced appropriate technical infrastructure to facilitate this.

(1) Long History and International Experience

With nearly a century of history, SUGIMURA & Partners has developed relationships with over 2,000 foreign companies and closely cooperates with foreign IP firms in over 180 countries and regions. SUGIMURA has a proven track record in successful prosecution of foreign and international applications, and has a wealth of experience in international enforcement matters. Our domestic and foreign clients trust SUGIMURA in all aspects of the IP life cycle (inception, prosecution, exploitation and enforcement).

(2) Unparalleled Global Network

Through its long history and experience in prosecution of applications overseas, SUGIMURA has established strong relationships with many reputable foreign IP firms across the globe. Through these relationships, SUGIMURA has built extensive expertise in overseas IP matters and has deep knowledge of foreign intellectual property laws, practices and procedures. Our attorneys and paralegal staff are encouraged to keep up-to-date on legal developments in overseas jurisdictions and we maintain an internal database of such information.

This global network, combined with the international expertise within our firm, ensure that we can advise and support our domestic clients when seeking to protect their inventions overseas. Our clients rely on SUGIMURA for accurate and actional advice not only in common overseas jurisdictions such as the United States, Europe and China, but also in regions such as Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and South America, where the intellectual property systems are developing and the handling of applications requires nuanced expertise.

Our experience in prosecution and enforcement in overseas jurisdictions is mirrored by our expertise in assisting overseas clients with prosecution and enforcement matters within Japan. In particular, our attorneys and paralegal staff are skilled in communicating with overseas clients and providing clear and actionable advice in relation to Japanese IP matters. We actively recruit attorneys and paralegal staff with fluency in second languages, overseas qualifications, and international experience to ensure that we can maintain this expertise and serve our overseas clients.

(3) High Quality Legal Services

SUGIMURA has earned an international reputation for its high quality legal services and is repeatedly ranked among the top patent and trademark law firms in Japan. Our patent and trademark attorneys possess expertise in virtually every technology sector, with over 220 staff members including 90 attorneys qualified in Japan, the US, UK and Europe. Our staff work together to deliver results-oriented solutions and services that are tailored to the needs of our clients.

Our attorneys are not only skilled in intellectual property law; they are also technical experts in virtually every industry. Many of our attorneys have years of experience working in-house at major corporations as researchers, engineers and IP professionals. We also have attorneys who have served for decades at the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the IP High Court. This combination of expertise allows us to understand the perspectives of corporations and patentees as well as those of the JPO and the IP High Court, thereby enabling us to deliver practical and effective solutions to a diverse range of clients.

(4) High Quality Translation

SUGIMURA recognises that accurate translation is a foundation for obtaining robust patent protection for both overseas clients seeking IP protection in Japan, and Japanese clients seeking IP protection overseas. At SUGIMURA, all of our translation services are provided in-house by a team of highly skilled technical translators. Our technical translators translate to and from English, German and Chinese, and translations to be submitted to the JPO are reviewed by qualified attorneys for accuracy and compliance with Japanese practice prior to filing. SUGIMURA’s high quality translations help to eliminate the risk of unnecessary office actions from the JPO and to ensure that the claim language captures the embodiments of the invention that hold the greatest market value.


Since its inception in 1923, SUGIMURA & Partners has been dedicated to the IP protection needs of our clients, through which we have built a reputation for excellence within the IP field. In particular, SUGIMURA strives to offer a full spectrum of high-quality IP legal services to meet the diverse needs of our domestic and overseas clients.

(1) One-Stop IP Services

As of March 1, 2017, our firm was re-launched as SUGIMURA & Partners to reflect our new capability for handling contentious work, such as patent and trademark infringement actions. By working together with SUGIMURA’s prosecution division, the newly formed legal division creates a synergy that enables us to offer a “one-stop IP service” to a diverse range of clients, both domestic and overseas.

This expansion reflects our commitment to rise to the legal and technological challenges presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. With Koji Sugimura at the helm of our legal practice and Kenji Sugimura at the helm of our prosecution practice, we have the capability to meet to these challenges by offering truly innovative, comprehensive and integrated IP and legal services, focused clearly on meeting the evolving needs of our clients.

(2) Commercial Focus

SUGIMURA’s attorneys have years of experience working in-house at major corporations as researchers, engineers, and IP professionals. We also have attorneys who have served for decades at the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and in the IP High Court. This combination of expertise allows us to understand the perspectives of corporations and patentees as well as the JPO and the Japanese courts, ensuring that we can deliver practical and effective solutions to further the business objectives of a diverse range of clients.

(3) International Expertise

SUGIMURA’s attorneys have extensive experience in providing clients with legal advice on foreign intellectual property matters. We regularly consult on important differences between foreign intellectual property law and practice, and Japanese intellectual property law and practice. SUGIMURA attorneys are able to prepare specifications that are drafted with consideration of the specific requirements necessary to secure protection in overseas countries at the time of filing in Japan. This skill ensures that our clients can secure strong patent rights not only in Japan but also overseas.

(4) Trademark and Design Expertise

In addition to its comprehensive patent services, SUGIMURA has a strong presence in the trademark and design field.

Our trademark and design team handle prosecution and litigation cases for our domestic and international clients, and work closely together with the attorneys in our legal division to provide strategic advice to our clients. To ensure confidentiality and quality, all drawings necessary for the application process are drafted by our in-house drafting team.

(5) In-House Docketing Solution

We have developed an in-house docketing solution that meets the needs of both our firm and our clients for tailored workflow solutions at lower cost, whilst maintaining absolute data security and robust deadline management. In addition to management of critical data, such as due dates, family information and case documents, our system provides customisable workflows that facilitate close internal collaboration between all members of SUGIMURA (attorneys, technical experts, support staff), and also efficient communication with our clients. The system remains under continuous development to ensure that it meets the evolving needs of SUGIMURA as a modern patent law firm.