Felix-Reinhard Einsel

Managing Partner

Mr. Einsel possesses a diverse undergraduate and postgraduate educational background with degrees in Comparative Law and Electrical Engineering from both Japanese and American universities. He also has the distinction of being the only European national to be registered as a Patent Attorney in Japan at the present time and is also qualified in Japan as an IP Litigator. Mr. Einsel’s practice focuses on patent application and litigation matters in the areas of electrical engineering. Mr. Einsel is a noted expert on IP law in Japan and has given numerous seminars and published multiple articles on IP law and enforcement in Japanese, German, and English. In 2015, Mr. Einsel also testified as an expert before the National Diet with regard to the upcoming reform of the employee’s invention law and unfair competition law.


Patent Attorney


Qualified IP Litigator in Japan (2003)
Japanese Patent Attorneys Association (1999)
Attorney at Law, State of New York, U.S.A. (1994)
Hamburg Bar Association, Germany (2015)


LES Japan
Japan Audit & Supervisory Board Members Association
VPP (Association of Intellectual Property Experts)

Professional Experience

2009 – present

Managing Partner, Sonderhoff & Einsel Law and Patent Office

2005 – 2009

Vice Representative, Sonderhoff & Einsel Law and Patent Office
(formerly Dr. Sonderhoff Law Office)


Partner, Dr. Sonderhoff Law Office


Associate, Dr. Sonderhoff Law Office in Japan



Tokyo University of Science, B. Eng.,
Faculty of Technology-Electrical Engineering (Night School)


University of Washington, LL.M
School of Law – Asian Law Program

1988 – 1992

Rikkyo University, LL.B., Faculty of Law-Comparative Law


”Patent Prosecution in Japan” (VPP-Rundbrief Nr.3/2008) 2008


“Study regarding use in Japan of the application of methods exercised by the EPO and the German Patent and Trade Mark Office to determine the inventive step with respect to secondary conditions” (Bessatsu Patent No. 3, “Concerning the Inventive Step”, Japan Patent Attorneys Association), 2010


“Survey Research Report regarding the status of the appropriate protection of rights for individuals who are entitled to receive a patent”, “Chapter 3 I. Germany” (AIPPI Japan), 2010


”Developments in European IP” (“Intellectual Property Law Annual Report”, Nippon Hyoron sha co., Ltd., Co-author: Felix-Reinhard Einsel) December, 2011-2020


“On revision of patents in Germany” (Research Report No. 28 “Problems surrounding revision and correction” Bessatsu Patent No.4, Japan Patent Attorneys Association, Central IP Research Institution), 2011


“Die Patentierungsvoraussetzungen der erfinderischen Tätigkeit und der Abfassung der Patentansprüche sowie der Beschreibung in Japan (On Inventive Step and Description Requirements in Japan)“ (Mitteilungen der deutschen Patentanwälte, Vorstand der Patentanwaltskammer (Hrsg.))(Information from the German Patent Attorneys of the Bar Association (Hrsg.))May, 2012


“Die Verwechslungsgefahr von Wortmarken in Japan (Confusion regarding the origin of word marks in Japan)“ (“Aktuelle Fragen des gewerblichen Rechtschutzes und des Unternehmensrechts im deutsch-japanischen Rechtsverkehr (The Latest Problems related to Corporate Law in Japanese-German relations and Intellectual Property law)“, P187-196、Carl Heymanns Verlag, Co-author: Felix-Reinhard Einsel ), 2012


“A comparative study of judgments regarding description requirements in Germany, Europe and Japan” (Kenkyu Houkoku No. 34, “Various Issues regarding specifications”, Bessatsu Patent No. 9, Japan Patent Attorneys Association, Central IP Research Institution) February, 2013


“The State of the Employee Invention System in Germany” (“Research Report on Strategies to Secure and Manage Intellectually Creative Human Resources”, Foundation for Intellectual Property Research Institution), 2013


“Proposal from German Law regarding the subsequent management of the Patent Transfer Request System (Tokkyohou No. 74)” (“Chizai Kanri” Vol. 63, No. 10 (No. 754, Japan Intellectual Property Association), October 2013


“Notable Foreign Judgments (No. 15). The possibility of applying the “Repair Clause” onto the use of trademarks in Europe”
“Verdict of October 6th, 2015 by the European Court of Justice (Third Division)” (“Chizai Kanri” Vol. 66, No. 7, (No. 787) pp 845 to 856,  Japan Intellectual Property Association), July, 2016


“The Application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its IP Law Aspects in Japan” (Seminar titled “Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property, Patentability trends in the Life Sciences and Recent developments of the EU Unitary Patent System”, with EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation and Preu Bohlig & Partner, ) September, 2017


“AI – a danger or chance for the job of a patent attorney” (the workshop of the ANNUAL CONFERENCE YOKOHAMA JAPAN titled  “Artificial Intelligence – What is It and How Do You Own and License AI-developed inventions and Data?”, The Licensing Executives Society International (LESI)) Yokohama, May 28, 2019


“Latest Information on Efforts regarding Protection of AI-related Inventions in the EU” (Lectured at Kanto Kagaku No. 2/Trading Company Section Meeting (second session), Japan Intellectual Property Association (JIPA)), July 26th 2019


The revision of Patent Act and Design Act in 2020, criteria for the judgement of inventive step, descriptive requirements for patent applications, as well as third party observations, oppositions and invalidation trials in Japan” (VPP Mitte Süd/ Online Seminar) February 17, 2021


“German Companies and Litigation” (Tokyo District Court) Tokyo, 2001


“The German Patent Litigation System” (International Training Seminar, PA Association Training Section Meeting) Tokyo, 2004


“Trademark Law in Japan”(“Trademark Law in  Japan und China(Trademark Law in Japan and China)“、 FORUM Institut für Management GmbH) Munich 2004, Frankfurt am Main 2016


“Die nationale Phase in Japan – Verfahren beim JPO nach Einleitung der nationalen japanischen Phase –(Procedures at the JPO following initiation of the Japanese national phase)” (“Die nationale und regionale Phase im PCT-Verfahren(PCT procedures for the national phase”), FORUM Institut für Management GmbH) Frankfurt am Main, 2006


“Patent Law in Japan” (“Patent Law in Japan and China”, FORUM Institut für Management GmbH) Frankfurt am Main / Munich, 2007

“A Comparison of Inventive Step Rulings at the EPO, Germany and in Japan” (International Training Seminar, PA Association Training Section Meeting), Tokyo, 2007


“Das Patenterteilungsverfahren in Japan – Punkte, die ein deutscher Anmelder berücksichtigen sollte(Procedures for Grant of Patent in Japan: Points that German Applicants should consider)“ (“Frühjahrs-Fachtagung 2008 der VPP-Geschäftsstelle”) („Spring Symposium of the VPP Office“), Potsdam, 2008


Panelist at the 6th Public Forum Panel Discussion “Regarding Inventive Step” (Japan Patent Attorneys Association Central Intellectual Property Research Institute) Tokyo, 2008


“A Comparison of Inventive Step Decisions in Japan, at the EPO and in Germany” (332nd monthly seminar, Licensing Executives Society) Osaka, 2009


“Die Verwechslungsgefahr von Wortmarken in Japan (On confusion over the origin of word marks in Japan) (“Symposium Frankfurt 1.-3.9. 2010”, Deutsch-Japanische Juristenvereinigung e.V. (German-Japanese Lawyers’ Association), Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für Ostasienstudien Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main (Interdisciplinary Center for East Asian Studies, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main), Frankfurt am Main, 2010


“Geistiges Eigentum in Japan – Verwendungsstrategien―(Strategies for the Use of Intellectual Property in Japan)”(“Der erfolgreiche Weg zum japanischen Markt(Winning Strategies for the Japanese Market)”, JETRO Düsseldorf) Erkrath, 2010


“Patent Filing Strategies in Japan: How to Achieve an Edge over your Competitors”( Luncheon Meeting in English”、AHK)Tokyo, 2010

“Strategische Überlegungen bei Patentanmeldungen in Japan (Strategic Considerations to be Made When Seeking a Patent in Japan)” (“Verletzungsverfahren in Japan und China (Litigation for Patent Infringement in Japan and China), German Chamber of Patent Attorneys) Munich, 2011


“On Acquiring and Leveraging Patents in the EU” (Heisei 23 (2011) Life Science Field Intellectual Property Rating, Human Resource Development Program) Tokyo Medical and Dental University, 2011


“IP Filing and Enforcement Strategies in Japan  - How to Achieve an Edge over your Competitors -”(Luncheon Meeting in April 2012, SSCIJ)Tokyo, 2012


“Issues regarding Preparations for Filing a Lawsuit” (Global Patent Enforcement Strategy Seminar, Institute for Comparative Law and Jurisprudence, Waseda University Organization for University Research Initiatives/Osaka Institute of Technology), 2010 (Panelist)


“Trade Dress Protection and Functionality” (University of Washington, Intellectual Property Academy, Renmin University of China) Beijing, 2012


“Aktuelle Rechtsentwickelung im Patenterteilungsvehrfahren in Japan (Latest Developments in Acquisition of Patents in Japan)”(”Patentanmeldungspraxis in Japan, China und Korea (Procedures for Grant of Patents in Japan, China and Korea)”, German Chamber of Patent Attorneys)Munich, 2014


“The EU Perspective on the Recent Changes Recently Made to the Japan Patent Law” (Recent Developments regarding Intellectual Property in Japan and the EU”, event held by a partnership of the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation) jointly held on 6th October, 2015) 6th October, 2015


“Recent developments of opposition proceedings against patents granted in Japan” (Seminar with Preu Bohlig & Partner, “Current Development in Intellectual Property in Japan and Germany”) Munich, October 5 2017


“Opposition following patent grants in Japan”(Seminar titled “Intellectual Property in Japan” with Preu Bohlig & Partner and Japanese-German Business Association (DJW))Düsseldorf, October 10, 2017


“The utilization and practice of intellectual property in the EU”(THE WE2 STUDY GROUP, The Japan Intellectual property Association (JIPA))Tokyo/Osaka, December, 2017 and December, 2018


The Appeal against the Decision of Refusal & Opposition/Invalidation Trial in Japan”(Business session titled “Taking Adverse Examination Decisions on Appeal, and other Advanced Patent Office Proceedings in Korea, Thailand and Japan”, The Institute of Patent and Trademark Attorneys of Australia (The Annual Conference for IPTA)Melbourne, Australia, April 20, 2018

Teaching Experience

Part-time Lecturer, Osaka Institute of Technology, Graduate School of Intellectual Property (In charge of German Patent Law and Submission Procedures for EU designs and trademarks) 2006-2017


Part-time Lecturer, Tokyo University of Science, Professional Graduate School (in charge of EU Intellectual Property Law) 2014 ‐2015


In addition, Mr. Einsel also appeared at the House of Representatives Economic Industry Committee as a witness and presented his opinion on the occasion of the law revision of Heisei 27 (2015)


German, Japanese, English