Where We Work


For over two decades, Sughrue has maintained an office in Tokyo with a singular focus on addressing the needs of our Japanese clients in ways that consistently exceed their expectations. In order to maintain strong client relationships, Sughrue's Tokyo office staff are all bilingual and bi-cultural. All of them have extensive experience working with IP matters. Our resident attorneys are all US qualified and have lived and worked in Japan for many years. The central location of our office in Marunouchi makes it easy to visit us and easy for us to visit our clients to provide counseling and guidance in such areas as patent prosecution and litigation, licensing and negotiations, validity and infringement opinions, as well as export control and foreign filing licenses.

Due to the exigencies of the global economy, Japanese clients are increasingly faced with adapting their IP groups to a more international IP environment and responding to threats of litigation from US companies. Sughrue's resident attorneys conduct seminars and workshops and disseminate current information on US law to help our Japanese clients educate their staff on US intellectual property law. Our attorneys help alleviate the stress of litigation threats by providing options-counseling, in which we discuss potential legal risks and options for dealing with those risks. We work with our clients to develop and implement a strategy within the framework of the Japanese business environment to protect their rights while avoiding litigation where possible, and successfully defending litigations where necessary. We are constantly seeking a deeper understanding of each client's specific needs in order to offer effective solutions while controlling costs, thereby maximizing our client's productivity and minimizing their business risks.

USPTO Publishes Rules and Examination Guidelines for Implementing ‎the AIA First-Inventor-to-File Provisions ‎

On February 14, 2013, final rules of practice for implementing the first-inventor-to-file provision of the Leahy-Smith ‎America Invents Act (AIA) were published in the Federal Register. The first-inventor-to-file provisions of the AIA go ‎into effect on March 16, 2013.

Examination guidelines concerning the first inventor to file provisions were also published in the Federal Register ‎on February 14, 2013. The examination guidelines are provided to Office personnel and to the public to assist in ‎the implementation of the first-inventor-to-file provisions of the AIA. The guidelines do not constitute substantive ‎rulemaking and do not have the force and effect of law. Nevertheless, the guidelines are an important source of ‎information for effectively practicing before the USPTO.

Links to the final rules and guidelines are below:

Changes To Implement and Examination Guidelines for Implementing the First Inventor To File Provisions of the ‎Leahy-Smith America Invents Act [TEXT] [PDF]

Examination Guidelines for Implementing the First Inventor To File Provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents ‎Act [TEXT] [PDF]