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English

Welcome to the website of Inoue & Associates

Introductory Statement

Inoue & Associates (located within 1 minute walk from the Japan Patent Office) is an intellectual property (IP) firm having more than 35 years of experience in international IP business.

We are a modest-sized IP firm composed of members each having profound knowledge about the legal aspect of IP and the technologies involved therein as well as excellent skill in actual IP practice, such that high quality services can be offered constantly at a reasonable price.  Each one of our staff members is so trained as to be able to always provide high quality IP-related services including production of documents having a clear and logical construction whether they are in English or Japanese and irrespective of urgency or technical difficulties involved in particular cases.

Over the years, we have built up a solid reputation for our ability to efficiently acquire and protect IP rights in Japan.

We are confident that we can provide higher quality IP services than any other IP firms in Japan.


Features of Inoue & Associates

For acquiring and protecting patent rights, everything starts from the claims and specification of a patent application or a granted patent.  Whether a patent application can be granted with a desired protective scope or a granted patent can survive the challenge from a third party depends utterly on how good the claims and specification have been drafted in the first place.

Invalidation of patents, unexpectedly narrow scope of protection, defeat in infringement suit … all such undesired outcome could have been avoided only if the patent application had been better drafted. 

In the case of Japanese patent applications filed by non-Japanese entities, the claims and specification are usually translations from the non-Japanese texts of the first filed foreign applications or PCT applications. 

From this perspective, the translation of the patent claims and specification is actually more than just a translation and is practically tantamount to the preparation of a legal document which serves as a basis for seeking patent protection.  For this reason, the translation should be done with utmost care by IP professionals such as experienced patent attorneys or paralegals

And that is what we do and is not done by most of the IP firms in Japan

 

Problems related to traditional way of handling patent applications from outside Japan

In typical Japanese IP firms, applications from foreign clients are handled by a team of an IP professional (a patent attorney or a paralegal) and a translator. For example, the translation of a PCT specification for the Japan national phase entry is often carried out by one who is the least experienced in the IP firm or even by an outside translator.

The IP professions work on legal matters based on the translations prepared by translators which are not always so good or of a rather poor quality in many cases. This manner of handling patents is disadvantageous not only from the aspect of efficiency but also from the aspect of cost because poor translations of course make the entire procedure unnecessarily complicated and high translation fees are required even if the translations are not so good. Such inefficient and problematic practice as mentioned above has become customary because many Japanese IP professionals are not good at writing in English or even reading English documents, and the English-to-Japanese translations are generally assigned to beginners.

Consequently, many Japanese IP professionals have to rely on poor translations in their works, thus falling into a vicious cycle. It is not surprising even if patent applications from foreign clients are handled by those who do not fully understand what is disclosed in the original specification nor the clients’ instructions given in English during the prosecution of the application. For years, this has been a serious problem as far as the patent applications from outside Japan are concerned.

Our Solution

Such problems as mentioned above will never happen in the case of Inoue & Associates. Every one of our staff members has gone through very hard training and long actual experience to acquire ability to handle the IP cases alone from drafting patent specifications whether they are in Japanese or English to dealing with various procedures relating to patent applications or registered patents. We do not need and actually do not use any translator. Even in the case of foreign patent applications (in US, EP etc.) filed by Japanese applicants through our firm, the US or European patent attorneys often use our draft documents without any substantial change. That is, the documents drafted by Inoue & Associates as such are often submitted to the USPTO or the EPO.

There is no magic formula for acquiring good IP rights. This can be achieved only by hard work and skill obtainable through long and rich experience as always required in any fields for realizing high quality services.

Inoue & Associates is one of the very limited number of Japanese IP firms capable of constantly offering high quality IP services at a reasonable price. There has been and will be no compromise in the quality of services we provide to our clients and, for this very reason, we have been trusted by many foreign clients as well as domestic clients.

Our skill in IP business is highly esteemed by our clients including two famous Japanese professors emeriti, Dr. Nobuatsu Watanabe and Dr. Hidefumi Hirai, whose recommendations are shown in this web site. Further, if requested, we will be able to show you copies of some letters from various US and EP attorneys praising our abilities.

Our highly-skilled staff members will surely be of great help to your establishment of strong and valuable intellectual property portfolio while reducing cost.

If you are not sure, try us and we promise that we will never fall short of your expectations. You will immediately realize that we are dedicated to efficient acquisition and protection of your valuable intellectual properties and have skills to achieve this goal.

タグ:

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Samples

The following is a list of some examples of US patents obtained through our firm.

We suppose that it might be rather difficult for most of the non-Japanese clients to evaluate the quality of our works done for Japanese IP rights.

For such non-Japanese clients, the US patents listed may be useful for evaluating our abilities. We always dedicate tremendous efforts to draft English claims and specifications properly. For example, in the case of PCT applications, we draft Japanese specifications for PCT based on Japanese patent applications which had often been prepared and filed through other Japanese IP firms or by Japanese applicants themselves.

We usually make considerable modifications to the original Japanese specifications and claims for filing PCT applications. Especially in the case where the basic Japanese application has not been filed through our firm, we thoroughly check the application and usually redraft the claims into a form which has more clear and logical construction and can cover a desired protective scope, and also redraft the specification by supplementing information necessary to enable the invention or information which might be useful in the later prosecution stage for overcoming possible rejections.

Therefore, it can be said that, in many cases, the US patents are our translations of the Japanese language PCT specifications drafted by our firm.

We sometimes ask US patent attorneys to check our drafts of English specifications, but they usually find that no substantial change is necessary.

In addition, during the prosecutions of the foreign patent applications, our draft responses (amendments and arguments) are usually submitted to the patent offices without any substantial changes or with only minor changes.

Consequently, we believe that the US patents listed here would be of great help for you to evaluate our skills in IP business.

The documents which we prepare have been highly esteemed by the foreign patent attorneys.

タグ:

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National Patent Application in Japan

Q. Is it possible to file a patent application in Japan with an English specification?

A.  A valid filing date in Japan can be obtained by filing English versions of a specification (including claims and description), an abstract and drawings (if any) together with a duly filled-out application form (in Japanese language).  However, Japanese translations of the English specification etc. must be filed within 1 year and 2 months from the filing date or, if the Japanese application claims the convention priority, from the priority date.  Failure to do so results in the application being deemed to be abandoned.

海外提携先事務所

米国・カナダ・中南米

アメリカ合衆国 (United States of America)

Birch, Stewart, Kolasch & Birch, LLP - Intellectual Property Law

Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP

Staas & Halsey LLP

Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP

Young & Thompson International Patent and Trademark Law

カナダ(Canada)

Goudreau Gage Dubuc

Ridout & Maybee LLP

メキシコ合衆国(the United Mexican States)

Dumont Bergman Bider & Co., S.C.

ブラジル連邦共和国(Federative Republic of Brazil)

Custodio de Almeida & Cia.

欧州

イギリス(United Kingdom)

Brookes IP

CMS Cameron McKenna LLP

D Young & Co

J A Kemp

イタリア(Italy)

Societa Italiana Brevetti

オランダ(Netherlands)

Vereenigde

スイス(Swiss Confederation)

BOVARD LTD

スペイン(Spain)

Duran-Corretjer S.L.P.

Elzaburu

ドイツ連邦共和国(Federal Republic of Germany)

BOETERS & LIECK

Hoffmann・Eitle

Dr. Meyer-Dulheuer & Partner

Strehl Schubel-Hopf & Partner

von Kreisler Selting Werner Patents Trademarks Designs

トルコ(Republic of Turkey)

Deris Patents and Trademarks Agency

ノルウェー王国 (Kingdom of Norway)

Oslo Patentkontor AS

フランス共和国(French Republic)

Cabinet Beau de Lomenie

Cabinet Ores

ベルギー(Kingdom of Belgium)

Gevers

フィンランド(Republic of Finland

Oy Jalo Ant-Wuorinen Ab

ロシア連邦(Russian Federation)

Gorodissky & Partners

Konstantin Shilan & Co.

Sojuzpatent

アジア・オセアニア

インド (India)

L.S. Davar & Co.

インドネシア共和国 (Republic of Indonesia)

Biro Oktroi Roosseno

Hakindah International

オーストラリア連邦 (Commonwealth of Australia)

Watermark Intellectual Asset Management

シンガポール共和国 (Republic of Singapore)

DONALDSON & BURKINSHAW

タイ王国 (Kingdom of Thailand)

Tilleke & Gibbins International Ltd.

大韓民国 (Republic of Korea)

Koreana Patent Firm

Kim & Chang

PARK, KIM & PARTNER

中華人民共和国 (People's Republic of China)

CCPIT PATENT AND TRADEMARK LAW OFFICE

Beijing Sanyou Intellectual Property Agency Ltd.

China Sinda Intellectual Property Limited

Zhongzi Law Office

台湾: 中華民国 (Republic of China)

Taiwan International Patent & Law Office

(有)ユニオン パテント サービス センター

ニュージーランド (New Zealand)

Baldwins

フィリピン共和国(Republic of the Philippines)

Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia

ベトナム社会主義共和国(Socialist Republic of Viet Nam)

VCCI-IP CO., LTD.

マレーシア (Malaysia)

Ramrais & Partners

中東

アラブ首長国連邦 (United Arab Emirates)、オマーン国 (Sultanate of Oman)、クウェート国 (State of Kuwait)、パキスタン(Pakistan)、ヨルダン: ハシミテ王国 (Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan)


Abu-Ghazaleh Intellectual Property (AGIP)

イスラエル(State of Israel)

Reinhold Cohn & Partners

バングラディシュ(Bangladesh)

L.S. Davar & Co.

アフリカ

エジプト・アラブ共和国 (Arab Republic of Egypt)

Abu-Ghazaleh Intellectual Property (AGIP)

南アフリカ共和国 (Republic of South Africa)、ナイジェリア連邦共和国(Federal Republic of Nigeria


Adams and Adams Law Firm


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