Nakamura & Partners

WTR Research

The WTR 1000 focuses exclusively on trademark practice and has firmly established itself as the definitive 'go-to' resource for those seeking world-class legal trademark expertise.

Gold - Firms: prosecution and strategy

Gold - Firms: enforcement and litigation

For the past 11 years Nakamura & Partners has topped both the enforcement and prosecution tables of the WTR 1000. Tending to the IP needs of Japanese companies and multinationals since 1914, the IP boutique handles everything from filing trademark applications to managing oppositions and trials through a group of 10 experienced trademark attorneys. The side also collaborates closely with the legal team – led by Shinichiro Tanaka – to enforce clients’ valuable IP rights. Managing partner Hiroyuki Itaki is a fan favourite of foreign associates, while Koichi Tsujii is currently serving as the president of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property, Japan.

Firm Profile

Nakamura & Partners is an international trademark and patent law firm, established on 1 July 1914, that provides a wide range of services in the field of intellectual property. It aims to deliver the highest level of professional services in IP rights and related legal matters, to meet clients’ needs and to build long-lasting and trusting relationships with clients. Approximately 180 staff, including 61 patent and trademark attorneys and 19 attorneys at law, work at the firm. The scope of our practice is very extensive and includes the prosecution of industrial property rights, litigation and other legal affairs centring on IP law.


Nakamura & Partners comprises four sections: a trademark group, a patent group, a design group and a legal group. Our trademark group has nine trademark attorneys who handle trademark applications, oppositions and trials before the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and render expert opinions relating to trademark rights. Our patent and design groups together have 66 patent attorneys specialising in patent, utility model and design prosecution matters. Our legal group has 19 attorneys at law. The firm’s legal practice includes a wide range of counselling; infringement litigation and other types of litigation related to intellectual property (eg, patents, trademarks, designs, utility models, trade secrets, unfair competition prevention and copyright); and drafting and negotiations related to joint ventures, licensing, mergers and acquisitions, international business transactions and general corporate affairs.


A close and effective cooperative relationship has been established between the patent and trademark groups and the legal group. This enables our firm to simultaneously meet our clients’ wide-ranging requests, from the acquisition of strong exclusive rights to the effective enforcement and management of IP portfolios.

International reach

Approximately half of our clients are Japanese enterprises, while the rest are foreign enterprises. For clients in foreign countries, our firm chiefly engages in acquiring and enforcing rights in Japan.


Our firm was established in 1914 by patent attorney Morio Nakamatsu, who served as the ninth commissioner of the JPO from 1907 to 1913. The firm’s continued growth since then is the result of the strong reputation and high level of client confidence that the firm has acquired. That growth is also a result of our professionals always endeavouring to add new pages in the firm’s history and to create new traditions that meet with our clients’ expectations. The firm therefore deals with any and all new cases with the utmost sincerity and promptness.

Fostering talent

It is vital to foster the talents of our firm’s new members in order to maintain the reputation and client confidence that we now enjoy. To this end, our firm sends its more junior members to study at law schools abroad and to participate in academic meetings, seminars and symposia in Japan and abroad, and has organised in-house study groups. Our firm has a high number of lawyers and patent attorneys who have studied in foreign countries. Some have been admitted to the Bar in the United States and some are qualified as US patent agents.

Our firm has received many legal awards and accolades in the IP field, from WTR 1000 and other publications – including The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific every year since 1996 and Managing Intellectual Property every year since 2005.

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