A new era for business disputes in Japan


Ryo Maruyama

A new era for business disputes in Japan

f11photo / Shutterstock.com

The country’s first dedicated Business Court will offer more collaboration on IP cases, state-of-the-art facilities for use in lawsuits and access to expert advice, says Ryo Maruyama of Kyosei International Patent Office.

In October 2022, the first ‘Business Court’, a central court for business-related cases, opened in Japan in Nakameguro, Tokyo, located in the Tokyo District Court Nakameguro Government Building. The new Business Court complex will host the Intellectual Property High Court, which handles litigation concerning patents and trademarks, the Intellectual Property Rights Division, and the Commercial Affairs and Insolvency Divisions, which handle litigation related to corporate activities at the district court. These departments were originally located in the Tokyo District Court in Kasumigaseki, Tokyo.

The new location is in a beautiful central Tokyo neighborhood known for breathtaking cherry blossoms in full bloom in spring along the Meguro River. There is exceptional access, about eight minutes on foot from Nakameguro Station East Exit 1 on the Tokyu Toyoko Line/Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line, and about 11 minutes on foot from Ebisu Station West Exit, JR/Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line.

This central court for business will provide and share expertise among intellectual property cases, as well as corporate cases involving corporate governance, M&A, fair trade issues and so forth. It will also handle bankruptcy, civil rehabilitation and corporate reorganisation.

The goal is to provide top-tier, up-to-date justice, comprising a one-stop service for business cases, digital technology, and both professional and international perspectives in consideration of future directions such as digitalisation.

”Private discussions either in the court or online will enable intellectual property mediation over conflicts involving patents, trademarks and copyrights.”

The professional environment of the Business Court provides access to judicial research officials and technical advisors, and allows conferences with experts. This will contribute to the goal of the Business Court to provide timely and comprehensive justice at a pace that matches business requirements.

The expeditious, accessible, and reliable service of the Business Court will include online procedures, and the capacity for comprehensive use of its state-of-the-art information and communication technology (ICT) facilities, said to be the most advanced for web conferencing in the nation, such as for secure international internet conferencing between a lawyer’s office and the court during a civil lawsuit. Private discussions either in the court or online will enable intellectual property mediation over conflicts involving patents, trademarks and copyrights.

International forums and networking will be undertaken, with English information provided as a standard service, including guides and signs for international business users in English. Numerous court rooms include appropriately sized display technology for live presentation of technical details and intellectual property product features during patent lawsuits. There could be the possibility to cooperate with other business courts around the world, to handle international disputes.

More information about the Business Court can be found here.

Ryo Maruyama(丸山亮) is a Japanese patent attorney and vice-president and chief patent attorney of Kyosei International Patent Office. He can be contacted at: info@kyosei.or.jp

Kyosei International Patent Office, business disputes, IP cases, Tokyo District Court, M&A, fair trade, technology, lawsuits