Shobayashi International Patent & Trademark Office

Established in 1998 by its eponymous founder, Masayuki Shobayashi, Shobayashi International Patent & Trademark Office is one of the fastest growing IP law firms in Japan. With more than 260 employees – including 67 patent attorneys and more than 24 former Japan Patent Office deputy commissioners, administrative judges, executive chiefs, directors of examination and patent examiners – Shobayashi employs more former Japanese IP judiciary staff than any other IP firm in Japan, capable of providing the highest level of expertise in prosecution, research, litigation and legal advice. With 11 specialised departments in chemistry, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, mechanics, optics, electrical engineering, information technology, trademarks, designs, litigation and consulting on international IP protection, Shobayashi aims to provide tailored IP services for clients ranging from individual inventors to multinational companies seeking to create a commercial presence in the Japanese market.

Aiming to provide comprehensive services, Shobayashi has two offices in east Japan (Marunouchi and Ueno, Tokyo) and one in west Japan (Osaka), with the first international office set to open soon in Nanjing, China. In addition, Shobayashi continues to expand its services with an experienced Chinese patent attorney and US and UK attorneys to provide legal advice on global expansion into Asia, North America or Europe.

In 2011 Shobayashi further expanded its services with a specialised research department to provide IP analysis services for companies and financial institutions. Leveraging Shobayashi’s former IP judiciary expertise, such research determines the most efficient path to patent grant, including patent landscape analyses for technical trends and commercial strength of a client’s IP portfolio, freedom-to-operate searches to determine the existence of potential infringing technology and patent invalidation searches for the potential existence of any technology or intellectual property that may invalidate a client’s intellectual property.

In 2012 Shobayashi established a licensing, valuation and IP transactions department, including a diverse team of IP analysts certified by the Association of IP Education (AIPE), tax accountants, chartered financial analysts (CFAs), foreign attorneys and former leaders of industry. A former licensing executive leads the licensing team with experience in generating over $200 million in annual royalties for electronic patents and the sale of an electronics IP portfolio at auction for $6.6 million. With the advantage of employing most of the small number of AIPE-certified IP analysts in Japan, Shobayashi leads the industry in being one of few IP firms in Japan with the in-depth expertise capable of valuing individual intellectual property or entire IP portfolios by evaluating Big Data for technological trends, the market situation of competitors and the overall business environment. The consulting division combines the industry and market expertise of former general counsel of multinational corporations and the financial expertise of CFAs and accountants to detect problems and obstacles, provide countermeasures, identify mechanisms for business growth and monetisation, and propose IP strategies for global development and expansion along with the utilisation of intellectual property to the client’s long-term advantage. Further, Shobayashi has successfully completed more than 200 IP due diligence exercises for licensing and M&A transactions, and IP advisory services in open innovation for entrepreneurs as well as IP strategies for established companies.

Shobayashi’s distinct capabilities have led to an equally diverse clientele of automakers and auto-parts manufacturers, research companies, chemical manufacturers, private and national universities, food manufacturers, IT providers, communication providers and measurement device manufacturers. As one of the few growing firms in Japan, Shobayashi continually seeks to deepen and broaden its expertise in order to become one of the top IP firms in Japan.

Contact details

Shobayashi International Patent & Trademark Office
Sapia Tower
1-7-12 Marunouchi
Tokyo 100-0005

Professional contacts

Other offices

  • Nanjin
  • Osaka

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