Ohara Law Office

May 15, 2017

What types of official seals do companies in Japan keep?

When establishing a company in Japan, the founder will be required to register an official seal for the company.  Stamps or seals are commonly used in Japanese business as an alternative to signatures to authorize documents.  Officially registering the seal will legally bind that specific design to the company and any time that seal is used it will be presumed to be an official recognition by the company.
May 12, 2017

If a patented invention needs approval from a safety agency before it can be marketed, does any extra time get added to the length of the patent?

Certain patented inventions may require approval from a government agency, such as those regulating consumer products, medical devices or food, before they are allowed to be sold to the public.  This period of waiting for approval unfairly cuts into the patent term and lowers the profit an inventor can expect to make.  Therefore, patents in this situation may be extended for a further period of up to five more years.
May 10, 2017

Are charitable gifts subject to Japanese inheritance tax?

Sometimes a will specifies that part of the estate should be given to a religious organization or a charity.  In these cases, if the inheritor meets certain conditions, the religious organization or charity may not need to pay any inheritance taxes.  This rule encourages people to leave their money to charities or other worthwhile causes.
May 8, 2017

What is “Balance Sheet Insolvent?”

One of the requirements for a corporation to enter bankruptcy in Japan is that it be “balance sheet insolvent.”  Balance sheet insolvent means that even if the corporation has assets on hand, it cannot make full payment to all of its creditors even by selling all of its remaining assets.  In essence, the company’s debt outweighs its assets.