Japan TMI Associates

TMI Associates is one of the top five domestic law firms in Japan, comprising 350 lawyers (bengoshi) and 65 patent attorneys (benrishi) as of July 2016. TMI provides clients with a wide range of superior-level legal services – not only in intellectual property, but also in corporate, finance, bankruptcy and litigation matters. Since the formation of TMI in 1990, one of the strongest and highly esteemed areas of practice has been IP law. TMI’s IP group consists of 68 IP lawyers, 65 patent attorneys and 73 support staff.

Collaboration of lawyers and patent attorneys

TMI offers unique, high-quality IP services that are unlike those of any other international law firm in Japan, because experienced lawyers and more than 50 patent attorneys work together as a team to serve its clients.

Full-service provider

TMI provides clients with full service for the protection of IP rights, both by filing for registrations of patents, designs and trademarks and by enforcing IP rights through litigation or negotiations.

Ability to resolve IP disputes

Lawyers highly experienced in IP litigation and patent attorneys have been successful in numerous cases by working together to form a strong litigation team in disputes, including infringement litigation and litigation seeking invalidation of Japan Patent Office decisions. In order to strengthen its litigation practice, TMI has recruited lawyers who were previously high-profile judges, including former Supreme Court judges and a former presiding judge of the division, IP High Court.

High-quality services in related areas

  • Anti-counterfeiting projects involving civil, criminal and customs procedures to prevent importation of counterfeit products
  • Copyrights
  • Entertainment and sports law
  • Protection of know-how and trade secrets
  • Prevention against unfair competition
  • Contract drafting
  • Resolution of disputes arising from IP licensing agreements
  • IP due diligence upon acquisition, merger or listing on stock exchange
  • Financing collateralised with IP rights

International experience

TMI has worked for both domestic and foreign clients from around the world. English-speaking lawyers, patent attorneys and support staff serve foreign clients. Further, TMI’s Chinese service group, France-Japan practice group and India desk help Chinese, French and Indian clients with stress-free communication in their native languages.

Overseas offices and global network

In response to the globalisation of clients’ businesses, TMI has opened overseas offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Yangon, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Phnom Penh and Silicon Valley. TMI also collaborates with foreign law firms. For example, TMI established qualified Japanese joint ventures through its Tokyo office with major international law firms Simmons & Simmons (United Kingdom) in 2001, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP (United States) in 2005, Wakely Foreign Law Office (Canada) in 2006 and ARQIS Foreign Law Office (Germany) in 2009. Through these equal partnerships with leading foreign law firms, TMI succeeded in developing a global network that responds to the international needs of clients. TMI has collaborative working relationships with more than 200 major law firms in 160 countries.

Notable cases

TMI is known for its worldwide brand portfolio management for high-profile luxury brands. TMI has extensive experience of working with clients to develop an effective anti-counterfeiting strategy tailored to their needs and budgets. This includes civil, criminal and customs procedures. TMI has worked closely with customs officials to stop importation of counterfeit products. TMI has an excellent track record for successfully resolving disputes relating to trademark and other IP rights.

Work areas

TMI's client base is diverse, ranging from large listed companies to venture companies. TMI represents companies across all business sectors, including information technology, biotechnology, industrial machinery, automobiles, pharmaceuticals and consumer products, as well as media, entertainment and sports businesses. TMI is also recognised for its trademark services for world-famous luxury brands in the apparel, liquor, cosmetics and fashion industries, based on its rich experience in these sectors.

Contact details

TMI Associates
23rd Floor
Roppongi Hills Mori Tower
6-10-1 Roppongi
Minato-ku
Tokyo 106-6123
Japan

E: info_general@tmi.gr.jp
T: +81 3 6438 5511
F: +81 3 6438 5522
W: www.tmi.gr.jp

Professional contacts

Katsuro Tanaka, Senior managing partner
E: ktanaka@tmi.gr.jp

Yoshiyuki Inaba, Senior partner
E: yinaba@tmi.gr.jp

Mitsuko Miyagawa, Partner
E: mmiyagawa@tmi.gr.jp

Other offices

Beijing, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Kobe, Nagoya, Phnom Penh, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Yangon

Recommended individuals at this firm

Yoshiyuki Inaba
Japan

Mitsuko Mimi Miyagawa
Japan

Shunji Sato
Japan

Takeshi Hironaka
Japan

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Issue 70