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This blog post will help you understand the nuances of IPR protection in Japan. This is important not only for businesses operating in this jurisdiction, but also for those who are just planning to register a company in Japan. When entering the international market, first of all, it is necessary to conduct research in order to find out what problems a company may face in a particular region when selling a particular product. Successful businesses can never be fully protected from attempted violations of IP rights.

Intellectual property infringement is a fairly common cause for disputes because almost every business can be a party to this kind of conflict. That is why, even before starting a business in Japan, we remind our clients of the need for a structured and clear strategy for protecting IP rights in Japan and in other jurisdictions where you plan to start working.

IP in brief

Intellectual property is a set of exclusive rights of the owner (individual or legal entity), as well as personal non-property rights of authors to the result of intellectual activity or means of individualization. IP objects, as the results of creative work, in most cases do not provide right holders with any real profit, because they often exist without legislative protection from government agencies. That is why the situation with industrial property objects (inventions, utility models, TMs) is easier.

Intellectual property objects can have one or more owners, but if they are not protected from a legal point of view, they can fall into the hands of unscrupulous competitors who are able to appropriate, for example, authorship, thereby violating intellectual rights.

To avoid such unpleasant incidents, the legislative bodies have created the institution of exclusive rights, that is, the property right of an individual or legal entity to use the result of their intellectual activity at their own discretion with the ability to exclude the right to use it for third parties.

If you need to file a claim to protect IP rights in Japan, please contact us. We provide legal services to support the resolution of business conflicts in Japan using alternative methods that will often be more effective than going to courts. Contact us to find out how best to resolve a business dispute in Japan in your specific case.

Resolve IP Dispute in Japan: Procedure

IP litigation in Japan is heard by a panel of three judges in a division of the court that deals with IPR. The trial is conducted in public. Normally, the procedure consists of t phases: 

  1. Interpreting the terms in the patent claims;
  2. Valuation of damages if the court deems it necessary after the first stage.

Evidence of IP Infringement in Japan

There is no disclosure procedure in Japan and each party must collect its own evidence based on the rules of the burden of proof. There are also essential legal requirements for collecting evidence. The specialists of our company are ready to provide comprehensive explanations on this issue during an individual consultation on the enforcement of IP rights in Japan.

IP Dispute Resolution in Japan: Timeline

On average, IP litigation proceedings in Japan can take from 1 to 2 years. If you are preparing to file a claim to enforce IP rights in Japan, please contact us for prior professional advice.

ADR to Resolve IP Disputes in Japan

In Japan, all ADR methods are widely used – arbitration, mediation and direct negotiations. If you need advice on arbitration procedures in Japan, our qualified and experienced professionals are ready to provide the necessary assistance. 

For businesses entering the international market, it is very important to be as knowledgeable as possible. Being fully armed, and protecting your IP in all possible ways, you can be sure that this issue will not bring any problems to the owner in the future. If you are not sure that you can foresee everything, given the difference in legislation, it is always better to seek professional assistance. Contact us directly by filling out the feedback form below.