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 - Individuals: prosecution and strategy
A regular in the WTR 1000’s gold tier, Nakamura & Partners is a top choice for both prosecution and enforcement. Its dedicated team of trademark attorneys’ heavy focus on non-contentious matters is complemented by the general IP squad, which leans towards the contentious side. Many members of the crew have international exposure and speak multiple languages. Having obtained his degrees in Japan and London, prosecution virtuoso Hiroyuki Itaki has extensive knowledge of both domestic and foreign trademarks and specialises in issues relating to the Madrid Protocol System. He was the chair of both the Foreign Trademark Study Committee of the Japan Trademark Association and the Trademark Committee of the Japan Patent Attorneys’ Association. On the contentious side, representative partner Shinichiro Tanaka’s similarly multinational exposure and proficiency in German make him fluent in international IP issues. Meanwhile, Cornell-educated Koichi Tsujii is a Japan- and US-licensed expert on contentious matters. Recently, he successfully represented Toho Corporation against Taguchi Industrial before the IP High Court.
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 66 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 and litigation and other legal affairs centring on IP law.
Nakamura & Partners comprises three sections: a trademark group, a patent group and a legal group. Our trademark group has 10 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 group has 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 comply with clients’ wide-ranging requests, from the acquisition of strong exclusive rights to the effective enforcement and management of IP portfolios.
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, and so has a long history and tradition. Since it was established, the firm has continued to grow – the result of the strong reputation and high level of client confidence that it has acquired. It is also a result of our professionals always endeavouring to turn new pages in the firm’s history and to create new traditions that comply with our clients’ expectations. The firm therefore deals with any and all new cases with the utmost sincerity and promptness.
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 held 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 both the WTR 1000 and other publications (eg, Legal 500 Asia-Pacific every year since 1996 and Managing Intellectual Property every year since 2005).