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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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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Notice: Year End Holiday

Please note that our office will be closed during following year-end holiday period:


Monday, December 31, 2018 to Thursday, January 3, 2019


A calendar showing our business days from January 4, 2019 can be found here.


We wish you a very happy holiday season and look forward to working with you in 2019!

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Mr. Martin Krause, a German and European Patent Attorney, joined our partner office in Hamburg.

Mr. Martin Krause, a German Patent Attorney and European Patent Attorney, started working at Einsel Attorney at Law und Rechtsanwälte PartmbB, our partner office located in Hamburg, on 01 November 2018. Mr. Krause has extensive experience working for industrial enterprises in Germany, in particular in the automotive sector, and we are happy to see him return to private practice as a member of our Hamburg team.

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The Firm’s Aircraft Finance and Securities Practice Expands with the Addition of Partner Tsuguhito Omagari

Sonderhoff & Einsel welcomes Tsuguhito Omagari as a partner in the Law practice of the firm.  Tsuguhito has a diverse background as a finance/corporate partner who has been practicing law for over 15 years.


After graduating from University of Tokyo and the Legal Training and Research Institute, Tsugu began working at the Tokyo office of a Magic Circle UK law firm where he focused on banking and finance and corporate M&A transactions.  During his career at the UK law firm, he also had the privilege of working out of the firm’s London and Hong Kong offices as well as being provided the opportunity to obtain his LLM from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and his New York State Bar license.  He also has the experience of being seconded to a Japanese bank and a Japan office of a French cosmetics company.


In 2011, he joined the Tokyo office of a large US-based global law firm where he advised on domestic and cross-border transactions and focused on banking, asset finance (especially aircraft finance and real estate finance), and securities matters.


“I am very excited to be here and work with a number of talented professionals in various areas, which should definitely expand my practice and knowledge.   I would like to make as much contribution as possible to the firm” said Tsugu.  With our firm’s growing aircraft finance practice, we look forward to working with Tsugu to take our aircraft finance practice to the next level.


In his free time, Tsugu likes to take a jog along with the Arakawa River as well as spend time with his 4 children.

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IP Practice: “Extension of Grace Period (exception of the loss of novelty) for inventions, utility models and designs”

The “Bill for Amendment of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law” in Japan, which was approved by the Cabinet on February 27, 2018, was passed on May 23, 2018. This amended law was promulgated on May 30, 2018 and will be implemented on June 9, 2018.


Due to this amendment, the time period regarding the exception of the loss of novelty, the so-called grace period, for inventions, utility models and designs will be extended from six months to one year (Patent Law Article 30, Utility Model Law Article 11, Design Law Article 4).


This new law will be applied to applications for patents, utility models and designs filed on and after June 9, 2018, which is the day the law goes into effect.


Please note, however, for applications made public on or before December 8, 2017, the revised Article 30 of the Patent Law or Article 4 of the Design Law will not be applied even if the relevant applications are filed on or after June 9, 2018.




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IP Stars 2017

We are pleased to announce that our firm was ranked in the practice area of “Patent Prosecution” in IP Stars 2017 issued by the Managing Intellectual Property.

Please click here for more details.

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