Trial courts in Japan normally have one judge but appeals are heard by a panel of three judges. These three judges reach their judgment on a majority vote. Therefore, it is possible to still have a victorious result on appeal even though one judge does not agree with your position.
In the case of disputes over intellectual property the appeal will usually be directed to the special intellectual property high court in Tokyo. The judges of this court are specialists in intellectual property cases and bring a special understanding of technology and intellectual property to the case that a normal trial level judge may not necessarily have.
If you have questions about litigation in Japan, please contact our office for a legal consultation.