FAQ

September 2, 2016

What happens if a spouse won’t support his or her spouse’s visa renewal?

Certain visas to legally stay in Japan are based upon being married to a resident of Japan.  This can include foreign nationals who are married to Japanese citizens and receive a spouse visa, or for foreign national couples where one spouse who has legal status in Japan is supporting the other through a family based visa.  As these visas depend on the marital status of the couple, it is often critical for the spouses to work together to obtain a renewal of these visas.  However, if the sponsoring spouse decides to withhold his or her cooperation in renewing a visa, there […]
August 24, 2016

What is the Utility Model Act?

The Utility Model Act protects the shape or structure of a device.  Typically, Utility Model applications are reserved for inventions that are simpler than those covered by the Patent Act and as such, the application process is also streamlined.  However, the 10 year protection granted is only half as long as the duration of a patent right.
August 3, 2016

If an employee creates an invention, will the patent belong to the employee or the company?

Sometimes the right to patent an invention doesn’t rest directly with the inventor but rather with the company the inventor works for.  Many companies, universities and research centers take measures to ensure that the institution, and not the inventor, owns all patents arising from an invention. 
July 11, 2016

What is the Madrid Protocol?

The Madrid Agreement is an international treaty regulating the protection of intellectual property.  Ninety countries are registered to the system established by the treaty and it is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)  The portion of the Madrid System that applies to trademarks is called the Madrid Protocol.