Takamitsu Shigetomi, Partner, Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners
Overview of Intellectual Property (IP) Law and Court System
In Japan, intellectual property law is mainly comprised of (i) patent law, (ii) utility model law, (iii) design law, (iv) trademark law, (v) copyright law, and (vi) unfair competition prevention law.
As to how the court system deals with IP cases, Japan adopts a quite sophisticated system with the establishment of specialized courts.
In the first instance, the Tokyo and Osaka district courts have exclusive jurisdiction over technology-related cases (i.e. cases involving patents, utility models, computer program works, layout-design of semiconductor integrated circuits, etc.). In addition, the Tokyo and Osaka district courts may have jurisdiction over non-technology related IP cases if plaintiff chooses to use the Tokyo and Osaka district courts. Read more…