Section 5. Trademark and Design Protection Systems


Consultation with specialists for intellectual property

The experts publicly authorized to act as agents in carrying out application procedures for intellectual property rights such as patents, designs and trademarks, are, of course, patent attorneys; in Japan they are known as benrishi. Regular lawyers (bengoshi) may also perform this work, however, because a very high level of expert knowledge regarding intellectual property rights is required, it is most common for those who wish to acquire rights, or whose patent or trademark rights have been infringed, to hire a patent attorney. Furthermore, under Japanese law, legal action pertaining to infringement of rights is currently the sole domain of lawyers (bengoshi), but starting in 2003, patent attorneys (benrishi) may also represent a client in court along with a lawyer (bengoshi) as long as they pass certain national examinations.

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