The Largest Patent Prosecution Firms in Japan

Published On: 2024-03-10|Tags: , |1,9 min read|

Download the Excel file with the top patent firms from Japan.

Japan is commonly known as one of the most innovative nations in the world; its patent application activities have seen outperforming those in South Korea, European Patent Office, India, etc. Based on IP Pilot’s data, the top 1000 patent prosecution firms in Japan represented 1,402,919 applications between 2019 and 2023.

Rank: Largest 25 Patent Prosecution Firms in Japan

The 25 largest ones alone prosecuted 512,242 applications or approximately 37% of patent filings during the time period. SHIGA INTERNATIONAL PATENT OFFICE, SAKAI INTERNATIONAL PATENT OFFICE, and ITOH INTERNATIONAL PATENT OFFICE, SOEI INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW and TAIYO, NAKAJIMA & KATO consistently occupied the top 5 spots, indicating their firm standings in the industry.

Overall Patent Landscape in Japan

The reliance on business from domestic applicants takes priority for most of the largest prosecution firms in Japan. This is not surprising since 78% of the applicants filing in Japan were of Japanese origins. The few exceptions were SHUSAKU・YAMAMOTO (92%), YUASA AND HARA (65%) and SONODA & KOBAYASHI (88%) whose businesses depended more on prosecuting foreign filings.

Despite the heavy contribution of domestic applicants to the patent landscape in Japan, two notable international applicants made it to the top 50 applicants filing in Japan. They were Chinese HUAWEI TECH CO LTD and South Korean LG CHEMICAL LTD.

Total Number of Filings per Firm 2019 – 2023

Case Exchange Trends

Between 2019 and 2023, patent prosecution firms in Japan sent more than 502,136 patent cases to their foreign associates. The major recipients were representatives from the United States, China and Germany, collectively receiving 74% of cases sent by Japanese firms.

Japanese firms, however, received less than half the volume of patent cases from global counterparts (237,386 patent cases) during the same time period. This further supports Japan as a rather outbound-focused country.

Country Breakdown of Top 50 Sending Law Firms to Japan
Country Breakdown of Top 50 Receiving Law Firms from Japan

To conclude, Japanese applicants are by far the largest contributor to the patent prosecution volumes in the jurisdiction. Hence it is not a surprise that the largest Japanese patent prosecution law firms tended to focus their businesses on domestic clients. They not only represent them for local filings but also need a strong network of international associate firms to send work to on behalf of these domestic clients.

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