Yoshitaka Sonoda

Managing Partner at Sonoda & Kobayashi Intellectual Property Law

As Sonoda & Kobayashi Intellectual Property Law’s primary patent litigator, Yoshitaka Sonoda handles appeals, invalidations and infringements before the Tokyo Intellectual Property High Court and the Supreme Court of Japan for companies and organisations in Europe and the United States. He is also the primary negotiator of licensing and trade secret agreements.

Dr Sonoda regularly gives seminars abroad on developments in IP practices in Japan at IP organisations and association meetings.

Dr Sonoda spent several years in France conducting research for the French Atomic Energy Commission. He has more than 28 years’ experience in intellectual property in Japan, including 10 years as a director of a major Japanese IP firm before founding Sonoda & Kobayashi. Under his leadership, the firm has gained an international reputation of reliability, high-quality work and smooth communication, and handles patent applications for many global companies.

Dr Sonoda holds a PhD in structural engineering from the University of Tokyo and a BS in structural engineering from Yokohama National University. He has expertise in nuclear technology, thermodynamics, electrical and mechanical engineering, liquid crystals, fluid mechanics, optics, computing, aeronautical and automotive engineering and electromagnetism.

He speaks Japanese, English and French.

Dr Sonoda’s publications include:

  • “Avoiding the Perils of Collaboration” (with Natalie Crick), World Intellectual Property Review, Annual 2017 Edition.
  • “Japan’s IP High Court Takes a Stand Against Violation of Public Order and Morality for Trademarks” (with Diane Beylier), World IP Review, September/October 2012;
  • “Amendments to Japanese IP Laws”, World IP Review, September/October 2011;
  • “Drastic Changes Made to the Patent Law” (with Diane Beylier), Managing Intellectual Property, Asia-Pacific & Middle East 2010;
  • “Controversy over Patent Term Extension”, Managing Intellectual Property, Asia-Pacific & Middle East 2009;
  • “Speeding Up Patent Applications in Japan”, World IP Review, September/October 2009; and
  • “Coping with the Latest Examination and Appeal Practices”, Managing Intellectual Property, February 2009.

Professional associations

  • JIPA
  • JPAA

Firm details

Sonoda & Kobayashi Intellectual Property Law
Shinjuku Mitsui Building
Suite 3401
2-1-1 Nishi Shinjuku
Tokyo 163-0434

Contact details

See firm profile