TMI Associates is one of the top five domestic law firms in Japan, comprising 387 lawyers (bengoshi) and 78 patent attorneys (benrishi) as of August 2017. 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 64 IP lawyers, 78 patent attorneys and 76 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 IP lawyers and more than 70 patent attorneys work together as a team to serve its clients.
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
- 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
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, French 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.
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.
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.
Roppongi Hills Mori Tower
Katsuro Tanaka, Senior managing partner
Yoshiyuki Inaba, Senior partner
Mitsuko Miyagawa, Partner
Beijing, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Kobe, Nagoya, Phnom Penh, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Yangon
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