Firm Organization


From Representative Partner

For foreign applicants, obtaining patents in Japan is not easy. Without a doubt,
foreign applicants must overcome at least two obvious obstacles: the difficulties
associated with translation from a foreign language into Japanese, and the frequent
updates and modifications in Japanese Patent Act. We consider, however, that in
many cases the more fundamental issues to be considered are associated with the
quality of communication between the Japanese Patent Attorneys and the foreign
For example, unlike examiners at the USPTO or the EPO, the JPO examiners
rarely present any detailed comparison between the claimed invention and
the cited prior arts. This difference may be due to a difference in cultures:
while most people are encouraged to express their opinions and ideas clearly
and directly in the Western culture, the Japanese are often encouraged to be
vague and indirect. Therefore, simply having a correct translation of an Office
Action from the JPO examiner may not guarantee an appropriate understanding
of what the examiner is really trying to say in the rejections.

At GLOBAL IP Tokyo, we have attorneys who have been trained at law firms
outside Japan, and attorneys who have spent a considerable amount of time
living in another country. As a result, quality communication is ensured with
our foreign clients, and we can support foreign applicants and their
representatives in a better and more efficient manner. We provide foreign
clients with not only the support in understanding the differences in IP
systems and overcoming linguistic difficulties, but also in understanding
issues related to cultural differences.

If you have ever experienced difficulties in terms of communication with
Japanese Patent Attorneys, please consider giving GLOBAL IP Tokyo a try.

-- Akio Takahashi, Representative Partner