Chief Managing Partner at R&C IP Law Firm
Today in Japan, damages awarded in intellectual-property-related civil lawsuits
are often in the tens of millions of yen, and sometimes in the hundreds of millions of yen. While the
intellectual property rights that eventually come to be litigated in lawsuits constitute only a very small
portion of the application cases that we file and handle on behalf of our clients, it is clear, for
example from the Intellectual Property Strategic Program issued every year by the Japanese government,
that the intellectual property rights we handle have large economic values.
However, even if an intellectual property potentially has a great economic value, the value it comes to have when it eventually matures into a full right largely depends on the abilities of the patent attorney handling the case on behalf of the client.
In the case of patent applications, the abilities of the patent attorney handling the case are a determining factor for the likelihood that a patent is issued on the valuable invention. The patent attorneys are charged with the task of actively advising the clients of how best to regard the invention in order to obtain a patent on it, and what arguments should be advanced in order to convince the examiner. Even when patents are issued on applications, the values of the patents in terms of their strengths and scopes can vary, from strong patents that are difficult for the competitors to design around, to superficial patents that can be easily designed around, allowing the competitors to use a technology very similar to the patented invention. When handling a case, we must expect all different possibilities and find a path that would maximize the benefits to the clients.
In addition to patents, the values of the designs and trademarks can also depend largely on the abilities of the patent attorney handling the case.
A patent attorney must have extensive knowledge and experience, in order to propose an optimum strategy for preparing and prosecuting an application, taking into consideration not only the mode of current execution but also future changes, as well as foreign applications and possible future disputes. In addition, an international sense is required for measures against counterfeit goods. Knowledge of civil law and civil procedure law, and maneuver technique are required for representation regarding a case in litigation. As you can see, the capabilities required of our patent attorneys are very broad and deep.
With this understanding in mind, we will strive to continue to improve ourselves in order to better protect our clients’ interests, and pledge our commitment to providing our best efforts on each and every case entrusted to us.