Ohara Law Office

October 13, 2016

Is it possible to patent an invention that is already known to others?

One of the main requirements to obtain a patent is that the invention not be known to the public.  This prevents people from patenting inventions that are not special and unique to the inventor.  Therefore, it is important to keep an invention secret until you’ve had a chance to discuss patenting it with an attorney.
October 11, 2016

What type of evidence should be collected before enforcing a debt in Japan?

Usually parties will negotiate among themselves through email before resorting to the legal process to enforce a debt.  If these negotiations fail, often the content of these email exchanges becomes the evidence in a legal case against the debtor.  Therefore, it is important to draft emails in a way that maximizes their potential use in future litigation.
October 7, 2016

What happens when heirs in Japan can’t decide what to do with inherited property?

Often the estate of a deceased will contain more than just money.  In many cases, a car, boat, house or expensive jewelry will need to be distributed among the heirs.  This can create a problem where each heir owns only a portion of an indivisible object, such as a car or home, and the heirs cannot decide what to do with it.  Under these circumstances it is best if the heirs are able to agree to a voluntary settlement to share or sell the property. 
October 5, 2016

What is an Arbitration Clause?

An arbitration clause is a clause in a contract that states that the parties will pursue arbitration in case of a breach of the agreement.  This arbitration can take place after good-faith negotiations between the parties have failed or can be mandatory immediately upon any breach.  Many businesses like to include arbitration clauses in their contracts because it simplifies the process of rectifying a breach.  Arbitration can be cheaper and more expedient than litigating the breach in court and for contracts between international parties, pursuing arbitration can be a fairer means of settling a dispute than resorting to local courts.