Overview and History | Kyowa Patent and Law Office

Overview and History

Kyowa Patent and Law Office is a law and patent firm established in 1908 that provides high-quality intellectual property legal services, including patents, designs, and trademarks.


Nippon Life Marunouchi Building

Name Kyowa Patent and Law Office
Representatives Manabu MIYAJIMA, Managing Partner
Established September 1, 1908
Services Offered Acquisition and maintenance of intellectual property rights in Japan and abroad
Protection and exploitation of intellectual property rights
Supporting enforcement of intellectual property rights abroad (e.g., countermeasures against counterfeit goods, infringement litigation)
Legal advice in intellectual property-related matters and providing information related to intellectual property, through seminars, newsletters
Address 22F, Nippon Life Marunouchi Building,
1-6-6, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0005 JAPAN
Contact Tel: +81-3-3211-2321 Fax: +81-3-3211-1710
Members Patent Attorneys: 60
Attorneys at Law: 6 (including 1 Foreign Law Counsel)
Personnel (total): 180


  • History
  • History
  • History
  • History
September 1, 1908 The Patent Law, Utility Model Law, Design Law, and Trademark Law are enacted in 1905 based on the Patent Monopoly Act promulgated by Korekiyo TAKAHASHI in 1885. Three years later, Tatsujiro UCHIMURA establishes Uchimura Patent Office, the forerunner of Kyowa, in Tokyo’s Ginza district.
1913 With Tetsujiro KOTANI from the Patent Bureau (now Japan Patent Office) joining the firm, its name is changed to Uchimura & Kotani Patent Office.
March 1943 During World War II, Jitsuo FUJITA, who joined the firm in 1911, takes over as president and the name of the firm is changed to Jitsuo Fujita Patent Office.
July 1952 Kazuo ICHIKAWA becomes president. The name of the firm is changed to Kyowa Patent and Law Office, the first Japanese legal firm to depart from the custom of using the surname of its president or owner in its title.
1961 Kiyoshi INOMATA becomes president of Kyowa and the firm relocates to the Fuji Building (now the Marunouchi Nijubashi Building).
1969 Inomata helps found the Asian Patent Attorneys Association (APAA)* with other patent attorneys in Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea. The following year, Inomata becomes the inaugural president of the APAA Japan Group, and the association’s secretariat is located inside Kyowa. In 1984, Inomata becomes the chairman of APAA Headquarters.
1985 Kazuo SATO becomes president and Kyowa starts developing its original electronic patent management system. Kyowa starts sending its employees to train with patent firms in Western countries as part of its education program for patent attorneys and attorneys at law.
April 1990 Sato becomes the 37th president of the Japan Patent Attorneys Association. Sato receives the Award for Contributions to the Operation of the Industrial Property Rights System (now the Award for Contributions to the Intellectual Property Rights System) from the Prime Minister, in recognition of his contribution toward the introduction of the electronic patent application system.
2004 Kenji YOSHITAKE, who became president of KYOWA in 2001, establishes a new China Section in the firm and dedicates efforts to the development of IP strategies regarding human resources in Asia, such as accepting trainees from China.
September 2008 Kyowa celebrates its 100th anniversary; commemorative reception is held at Tokyo Kaikan.
April 2013 Yoshitake receives the Award for Contributions to the Intellectual Property Rights System from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Japan Patent Office (JPO) in recognition of his contribution to the industrial property rights system in both Japan and overseas through his activities in the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property of Japan (AIPPI Japan) and APAA.
May 2013 Due to the demolition of the Fuji Building which housed Kyowa’s offices for over half a century, Kyowa relocates to the Nippon Life Marunouchi Building.
September 2015 Kyowa changes its management system to a partnership model to ensure a stabler management with a view to the future.
September 2018 Kyowa holds an intellectual property seminar for clients in commemoration of its 110th anniversary.

*APAA: the only international body of intellectual property agents in Asia; currently comprises 21 recognized groups (countries).

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