January 2019

Sonderhoff & Einsel welcomes three new patent attorneys in January

Sonderhoff & Einsel Law and Patent Office is pleased to announce that we have welcomed three new patent attorneys: Saori MAEKAWA, Dr. Kazunari YOKOYAMA and Hisako TANAKA.

Since her registration as a patent attorney in 2001, Ms. Maekawa has been involved in a wealth of trademark registration applications at multiple patent attorneys’ offices. She will continue to work on domestic and international trademark cases for a wide variety of clients ranging from startup ventures to large corporations, always striving to understand her clients’ situation and needs and provide appropriate services.

After earning his PhD, Dr. Yokoyama began his career at a patent office, where he worked for a number of years. Thereafter, he spent 16 years in the domestic manufacturing and service industries and became experienced in intellectual property (IP) matters. Capitalizing on his strong IP background built over his time in private industry, Dr. Yokoyama handles the proposal and execution of IP strategies to contribute to the management and business of his clients in private industry, working across subjects including the mechanical and chemical fields in general with a special focus on control devices, and oversees patent-related tasks ranging from drafting of specifications to exercise of rights.
Dr. Yokoyama strongly believes that interpersonal communication is an important aspect of all his work.

After graduating university with a major in physics and working in management at an engineering company, Ms. Tanaka entered the patent field. Making use of her knowledge as a physics major, Ms. Tanaka performs domestic, outbound and inbound tasks in the electrical and mechanical fields, including software. She has experience at several patent offices, where she has mainly been engaged in patent rights acquisition. In addition to her work at patent offices, Ms. Tanaka is also a member of the Small and Medium-sized Venture Support Committee of the Kanto Japan Patent Attorneys Association, where she is involved in the dissemination of information on startup support. An article she wrote is available on the homepage of the Kanto Japan Patent Attorneys Association under the title “An Introduction to Patents for Startups” (Sutato-appu no tame no Tokkyo Nyumon).

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We are pleased to announce that Mr. Felix-Reinhard Einsel and Mr. Hiroshi Morita have been recommended in the practice area of “Intellectual Property: Independent Local Firms” in the Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2019 editorial. Mr. Einsel has been highlighted as a patent attorney who has an “excellent understanding of the demands of [the] European industry” and a “broad knowledge of and experience in relevant Japanese law, German and European law” and Mr. Morita has been recognized for leading the chemistry and pharmaceutical team with his extensive IP experience in the life-science field.

Please click here the Website of the legal 500 for more details.

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On January 24, 2019, S&E will hold a German IP Seminar on “Prosecution of German Patents: a comparison with EP Proceedings ”.

Recently, we at Sonderhoff & Einsel Law and Patent Office have welcomed Mr. Martin Krause, who is registered as both a German patent attorney and European patent attorney, to our sister office (EINSEL Attorney at Law und Rechtsanwälte PartmbB) located in Hamburg, Germany.


We would like to invite our Japanese colleagues to a German IP seminar entitled “Prosecution of German Patents: a comparison with EP Proceedings”, which will be held shortly after the beginning of 2019 and presented by Mr. Krause.


Even as uncertainty surrounding Europe’s political and economic situation increases, it can be said that Germany’s role is expanding. Statistics showing that many Japanese companies are seeking to register their patents at the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) rather than at the costly European Patent Office are well known.


At this seminar, Mr. Krause will not focus on proceedings at the EPO, but will instead compare and contrast proceedings in Japan and at the DPMA, a subject about which there is far less information available in Japan.


Mr. Krause, who has a wealth of experience at patent offices and the IP departments of private companies, especially in the automobile field, in which he has worked in a wide variety of capacities, will explain the merits and demerits of acquiring IP rights at the DPMA in an easily understandable way.


Following the seminar, there will be a small reception featuring a new year’s greeting, German wine and pleasant conversation. We hope you will come and enjoy this reception with us.


Date: Thursday, January 24th, 2019

Time: Seminar 18:00 – 19:45

Reception 19:45 – 20:45

Venue: meeting room, Sonderhoff & Einsel Law & Patent Office

(18th floor, Shin-marunouchi Center Building, 1-6-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo)https://se1910.com/contact/

Fee: Free (pre-registration required)

Registration: Please fax or e-mail the completed registration form to Sonderhoff & Einsel by Friday, January 18th.

Language: English (Interpretation/Translation by Mr. Einsel)


Please click here for more details. (Japanese only)


*Please note that private individuals and those in the field of IP law may be prohibited from attending.

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Amendment of the fee for examination request (As of April 1, 2019)

Due to an enforcement of a revision regarding unfair competition law etc. in Japan, the fee for examination request for patent applications will increase from April 1, 2019.

This new fee will be applied to patent applications filed on or after April 1, 2019. The details of the amendment are as follows:

Ordinary patent application filed in Japan:

   ¥138,000 + ¥4,000/claim instead of ¥118,000 + ¥4,000/claim

PCT applications where the international search report has been established by an International Searching Authority other than the JPO (under the PCT):

   ¥124,000 + ¥3,600/claim instead of ¥106,000 + ¥3,600/claim

Please note that for divisional applications and converted applications, the original application will not be retroactive with respect to the fee for examination request, i.e. the new fee will be applied to divisional applications and converted applications which are to be filed on or after April 1, 2019.

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