Pillsbury has built a preeminent Japan practice by nurturing relationships of mutual trust with the Japanese business people we represent. Based in firm offices in Tokyo, London, Abu Dhabi, San Francisco, New York, Houston, Los Angeles and Washington, DC, the Japan practice is largely dedicated to assisting Japanese companies and their affiliates outside of Japan. Our understanding of Japanese business philosophy, culture and decision-making systems allow us to provide focused and effective legal services to major Japanese banks, trading firms and manufacturers in industries as diverse as consumer products, industrial machinery, energy and project finance, pharmaceuticals and technology.
Pillsbury helps clients establish their businesses in the U.S. and around the world, including acquisition and sale of assets, joint ventures, strategic alliances and licensing. Also, Pillsbury assists Japanese companies from the earliest stages in expanding their business and operating abroad, and the firm is involved in building distribution networks in markets around the world. In litigation, taking into consideration that legal procedure in the U.S. is unfamiliar to many of our Japanese clients, we make it possible to conduct necessary risk management and reach cost-effective and advantageous results by providing clients with appropriate briefings and discussing strategies at each stage. Pillsbury has capabilities for efficiently and effectively handling any discovery process involving Japanese documents and Japanese witnesses.
International Capabilities. Pillsbury’s Tokyo, Abu Dhabi, London, Shanghai and U.S. offices comprise a fully integrated network that advises clients doing business around the globe. Our recent international recognition includes:
- 2014 Chambers Global Guide ranked 10 practices and 24 Pillsbury attorneys as among the world’s top lawyers.
- 2014 Chambers UK ranks Pillsbury’s Outsourcing and Information Technology practices among the UK’s finest.
- According to an in-house counsel survey of Fortune 500 companies by Corporate Counsel, Pillsbury was named a “go-to firm” in four areas: Corporate, Intellectual Property, Litigation and Securities.
- In 2014, the International Financial Law Review (IFLR) named Pillsbury’s Insolvency & Restructuring practice to the IFLR 1000.
- The 2014 International M&A Advisor Awards named Pillsbury as a winner for “Corporate/Strategic Acquisition of the Year” in the Over $100mm to $1 Billion category.
- In 2013, Pillsbury’s integrated Energy team was named a Silver Award winner for Project Finance, Infrastructure & Energy by the International Legal Alliance at their annual summit in Paris.
- The International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) named Pillsbury to the 2014 list of “World’s Best Outsourcing Advisors.”
- A survey by Interactive Age ranked Pillsbury among the top three law firms in the U.S. advising on video game law and other interactive entertainment.
- 2012 Trade Finance Journal Awards for Excellence voted Pillsbury as “Best Global Export Credit Agency/Development Finance Law Firm.”
- 2011 Chambers Asia Pacific recognized Pillsbury as one of the leading international Venture Capital Practices.
- In 2010, Trade Finance named Pillsbury’s International Trade law practice as one of the top two in the “Best Trade Firm in North America” category.
- China Business Law Journal ranked our China team’s work among the “Top 10 China Private Equity Exit Deals” in 2012.
Our Japan Practice Capabilities
Corporate & Securities
Pillsbury represents international corporations, including Japanese companies, in connection with incorporation of subsidiaries, M&A, venture capital, strategic alliances and securities trading. Pillsbury has approximately 220 corporate-focused attorneys handling matters in various legal areas such as financing, stock investment, corporate governance and compliance.
The firm provides comprehensive legal services including anti- trust, employment, employee benefits, environment, government contracts, intellectual property, real estate, regulation and tax. Pillsbury attorneys handle matters through a full understanding of our clients’ strategic goals and a flexible and far-sighted approach, which is made possible by close communication with clients.
Pillsbury represents Japanese clients in business litigation in the U.S. and other regions. A number of our attorneys are fluent in Japanese. Our Japanese clients include major banks, trading firms and manufacturers in various industries such as electronics, heavy industry, sports equipment, chemicals, food, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, semiconductors and office tools. Pillsbury understands corporate culture in Japan, values the trust relationships we have with our clients, and always seeks the best results in representing Japanese companies.
Energy & Infrastructure Projects
Pillsbury’s Energy & Infrastructure Projects lawyers have deep experience advising international and Japanese companies on complex, cross-border matters through a pragmatic, commercial approach. Our lawyers advise on energy and infrastructure projects across a range of sectors including transport, power, water, LNG, chemical and petrochemicals, and in a range of upstream and downstream energy work, including acquisitions and disposals, Joint Operating Agreements, EPC/construction, farmout agreements, PSCs and concession agreements, and gas and LNG sale and purchase agreements.
Our Intellectual Property group offers extensive services, including intellectual property litigation; application for patents, trademarks and copyrights; licensing and technology transfer; protection of trade secrets; appraisal of intellectual property and competitiveness reviews; and matters at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the U.S. Customs Service. In the Tokyo office, a Pillsbury partner who works primarily on intellectual property issues and a Japanese patent attorney offer prompt and detailed legal services in connection with procedures at the Japan Patent Office and intellectual property litigation matters.
Intellectual Property Litigation
Pillsbury’s Intellectual Property Litigation practice is ranked in the top 10 in the United States, and we have won historic IP decisions thanks to creative strategies. Pillsbury has handled intellectual property litigation before the U.S. Supreme Court and federal courts in all jurisdictions, including the regional federal appellate courts and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Pillsbury also has extensive experience in procedures at the International Trade Commission, U.S. Customs Service, alternative dispute resolution tribunals and ICAAN.
Intellectual Property Audits and Strategic Planning
Even a company with extensive experience in intellectual property needs to conduct an independent audit regarding its own intellectual property. The purpose is to establish strategies to maximize income from the intellectual property and minimize unproductive disputes through preventive legal strategies.
The firm has earned its spot as a leader for legal services related to patent applications. We handle, on average, more than 2,500 applications every year and obtain more than 1,200 patents for clients. Our Japan Practice and Tokyo office have strong relations with top Japanese patent firms and, for decades, have managed Japan patent prosecutions and handled numerous U.S. and worldwide patenting for Japanese and U.S. companies in the electronics, chemicals and other industries.
Pillsbury’s International Trademarks team handles marks for companies large and small, emerging and established, around the world, in every industry. Our attorneys know how to apply trademark law to meet clients’ needs and solve problems in practical and commercially realistic ways. We manage our team to give clients the best, quickest and most economical service while providing customized service with experienced trademark lawyers and legal assistants dedicated to each client. Pillsbury has handled more than 14,000 trademark registrations and offers on-target advice regarding laws in this complex area.
New technologies continue to dramatically redefine the traditional boundaries of copyright law. Pillsbury’s copyright law team works with clients to protect marks and creative materials and leverage them to the fullest advantage. We advise the preparers, authors, prospective acquirers and owners of copyright rights on preparing and publishing original and derivative works, particularly regarding literary works, ornamental, industrial and graphic designs, and computer software.
Licensing and Technology Transfer
Pillsbury structures systematic licensing programs to maximize revenues from intellectual property and minimize risks from investment in capital-intensive activities. To do so, we use the negotiating skills gained through our experience with licensing services.
We are an established leader in providing comprehensive legal services to protect biotechnology and new products based on biotechnology. Pillsbury represents government research institutes, emerging biotechnology companies, existing major companies (including their biotechnology divisions and subsidiaries specializing in biotechnology), universities and private research institutes.
Digital Devices and Media
Pillsbury lawyers have knowledge of both legal and digital technology areas, which makes it possible to avoid failures that happen when attorneys understand only the law and engineers and programmers understand only technology. Our attorneys hold degrees in electric engineering and computer science. They understand not only hardware and software technologies, but also the business practices unique to the industry. Through synergy of this knowledge and experience, Pillsbury provides practical service in all aspects of applicable law, technology and business.