home > Q & A > Q & A: Legal Services

Legal services

For our service for legal services, please click here.

Legal services (consultation cases, negotiation cases)

Nagoya International Patent Firm has abundant experience in appropriately handling legal matters which require a high degree of expertise related to technologies.

Consultation

Negotiation(Settlement of Trouble)

Return to top of page

Consultation

QWe are warned that electric appliances we sell in Japan do not meet the standard. What should we do?
AThe regulations of the standard should be first interpreted. Then, whether or not the specifications of the electrical appliances at issue comply with the regulations is examined. Thereafter, the result of the examination is submitted in writing such as a written opinion. Careful determination in both technical and legal aspects is required with respect to standard.
In past cases, for example, one of our clients was warned that the specifications of their digital tuner do not meet the ARIB Standard. We thus studied whether or not the function of the digital tuner complies with the provisions of the ARIB Standard, and prepared a written statement indicating that the digital tuner meets the ARIB Standard. As a result, the digital tuner was formally approved to meet the ARIB Standard.
QA design created for our new product is similar to a design of another company's product, which is not a registered design. Will there be any problem?
AIf your design is similar to another party's design, it is required to make consideration regarding not only the Design Law, but also the relevant laws, such as the Copyright Law and the Unfair Competition Prevention Law. For example, whether or not the design has creativity as a literal work in light of the Copyright Law, or how many years have passed since the another party's product was launched in light of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law may affect the conformity to the respective legal requirements.
Our firm has given counsel to a number of such cases, relating to construction materials, clothing, webpage designs, etc.

Return to top of page

QWe have a license agreement with a company. Upon renewal, we would like you to make an analysis on whether or not it is still worth maintaining the license agreement.
AA license agreement which was necessary at first may be no longer worth maintaining due to subsequent business development or improvements in the product. In such cases, necessity of the license agreement has to be carefully determined in consideration of the current and future product lines, and the scope of the license agreement.
Especially, numerous license agreements have been concluded with respect to electric AV appliances. At the request of our clients, our firm has done numerous studies on the necessities of the license agreements through consultation with the respective clients.

Return to top of page

Negotiation(Settlement of Trouble)

QA product we sold in Japan had defects, and damage was caused to our customer. What should we do?
AIn digital appliances of recent years which execute complex processing, there is a possibility in which software bugs are not found at the time of acceptance inspection and failures occur after the appliances are delivered to users.
In our actual experience, our firm supported the client for negotiations until a settlement agreement is reached, with respect to a case where an unexpected failure occurred in a digital appliance during data updating operation, causing a great amount of damage to the customer.
QA comparative advertisement is placed which may provide misleading information on the quality and performance of our product. What should we do to stop such advertisement?
AAn unfair comparative advertisement may violate the Law against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations, the Anti-Monopoly Law, or the Unfair Competition Prevention Law. If the advertisement violates, for example, the Law against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations, you can file a request with Japan Fair Trade Commission for appropriate disposition.
In our actual experience, our firm successfully stopped a comparative advertisement for an adhesive by indicating that the advertisement violates the Law against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations.

Return to top of page

QDuring licensing negotiations, we were threatened to send a warning letter to our client companies unless we accept the offered terms. What should we do?
AIn patent licensing negotiations, for example, a patent holder is responsible for identifying a patent right and a possible infringing product, and for explaining that the product includes all the components claimed in the patent by presenting a claim chart or the like. Some companies from outside Japan offer unfairly high license fees and threaten that they will send warning letters to the client companies unless their offers are accepted. Such a negotiation method cannot be socially appropriate in Japanese practice, and also may be considered violation of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law in the civil aspect and offense of damage to credit or offense of profiting by extortion in the criminal aspect.
Our firm has experience in providing supports for such negotiations in a number of cases.
QWe own a copyright for software. A third party company illegally uses the copied software in the company. What should we do?
AIt would be difficult to prove copyright infringement performed in a third party company. However, in view of improved awareness of corporate compliance of recent years in Japan, and establishment of the Whistle-blower Protection Law to protect certain whistle-blowing in Japan, it might be possible to obtain evidence to prove illegality by appropriately negotiating with the third party company.
In our actual experience, our firm assisted our clients in obtaining evidence of illegal copying in their opponent company and eventually reaching a settlement agreement.

Return to top of page

QWe used an illustration created by a third party on our advertisement without prior consent, and we received a warning letter from the third party. What should we do?
AIf copyright infringement is present, you are required to pay damages. Even in this case, however, it is necessary to negotiate with the third party's attorney on the amount of damages in thorough consideration of past court cases and judicial precedents.
In our actual experience, our firm examined the past court cases regarding copyright infringement of illustrations to figure out an approximate appropriate amount, and then negotiated with the opponent's attorney. As a result, we were able to considerably reduce the amount to pay.
QWe got in trouble with our customer, and would like to demand them to pay money for damages. What should we do?
AThe first step is to confirm the facts and apply relevant laws to constitute legal grounds for demanding payment. When it is determined that the demand is legally reasonable, the next step is to send a demand to pay money by Content-Certified Mail (*). If the opponent refuses the demand, it might be necessary to file a suit in order to settle the matter.
Our firm can appropriately handle not only intellectual property matters but also other legal matters. Specifically, we have abundant experience in handling nonfulfillment of exclusive patent license agreements and nonpayments of sales values and contract fees.

Content-Certified Mail:
Content-Certified Mail is one of mail delivery methods, by post, offered by Japan Post. If you send a letter to a person by Content-Certified Mail, it is possible for you to prove the content of the letter and the date on which the letter is received by the person, based on a certified copy of the same letter which is retained at the postal office you used. Use of Content-Certified Mail becomes advantageous in the case of a lawsuit. For example, when a lawsuit is filed after you sent a Demand by Content-Certified Mail to the other party, it is easy for you to prove the date on which the Demand was received by the other party and the content of the Demand which was actually delivered to the other party. In view of these advantages, Content-Certified Mail is commonly used in Japanese legal practice.

pagetop

home > Q & A > Q & A: Legal Services