President Katsuhiko IMABORI

As an intellectual property specialist, not a single day of mine passes without thoughts of the question: “Does intellectual property make people happy?”

Article 1 of the Japanese Patent Act advocates promotion of inventions and contribution to development of industries as goals to be achieved by the Act. For achievement of the goals, IP Firm SHUWA has been committed to supporting each client company’s or individual’s business, with efforts to contribute to creation and utilization of numerous IP rights.

Recently, rapidly advancing technologies, such as AI or IT-related ones, have been penetrating wide and deep in people’s daily life and business environment. Even a competition for hegemony over technology sometimes leads to an international dispute among countries. Thus, we can actually realize that the age we are living in is a time when intellectual property is deeply involved in our life.

Moreover, impacts of natural disasters that are more and more frequent recently and the current Covid-19 pandemic are fundamentally transforming people’s life as a whole.  Taking the chair of president of IP Firm SHUWA amidst these major changes of the times, I am determined to reaffirm my vision, newly going back to my fundamental question of what we should do for intellectual property to contribute to people’s happiness.

With the above in mind, our firm has defined our mission as “Enjoy thinking hard, draw out potential of intellectual property, and be a powerful source to help drive client’s business”.

In IP Firm SHUWA, the members are not mere knowledge workers but seekers of joy in thinking more than in anything, aiming at producing results unique and valuable that are unachievable by others.

Fruits that can result from intellectual property will be more beneficial than ever, in other words, intellectual property has more potentials to bring happiness to people than it did before, all the more because of the ongoing drastic environmental changes ongoing now. With this belief, we, IP Firm SHUWA, are resolved to serve as driving force for each client tackling with business challenges toward the future, by maximizing the potentials of intellectual property.

In this age when new common sense and practice continuously emerge, making the old ones outdated, it is quite difficult for us to find clear and correct answers (or to believe in right goals to go after) when in the face of issues. Under these circumstances, however, various issues on which we have to make decisions emerge before us one after another. In not a few occasions, we may be worried about consequences of a wrong decision we might possibly make. The act of thinking is, however, the freest activity among human mental activities, and is the very root from which happiness and spiritual richness originate. All members of our firm will continue to make efforts to best serve our clients, always mindful of enjoying thinking out and through to the utmost limit, and willing and ready to go through trial-and-error process for achieving each goal

I would appreciate your continued support and cooperation.

Katsuhiko Imabori,
President, Senior Partner

Company Profile

Trade name IP Firm SHUWA
Corporate identification number 3010005029056
Established April 13, 1981
Address Acropolis 21 Bldg. 8th Floor, 4-10, Higashi Nihonbashi 3-chome, Chuo-Ku, Tokyo, 103-0004 Japan
Executive Katsuhiko IMABORI(CEO)
Shinichi SANUKI(COO)
Takehiko SEKINE
Takeshi NIWA
Toshiaki SHIMODA
Hironobu YAZAWA
Hiroaki OTAKE
Business Domestic and foreign patent applications, domestic and foreign applications for designs and trademarks, the aforementioned intermediate procedures, intellectual property consulting, expert opinions, litigation, etc.
Main Clients Domestic manufacturers of automobiles, copiers, computers, telecommunications, chemicals, construction, biotechnology, foodstuffs, etc., and research institutions such as universities
Number of Employees 150(Patent attorney:47) *As of August 2023

We provide total services for the creation, protection and exploitation of intellectual property.



Innovation Support

  • Invention Consultation(Invention of ideas, discovery of inventions from product specifications, etc.)
  • Application Strategy Consultation
  • Prior art research
  • Naming consultation and research
  • Intellectual Property Education


Protection Support

  • Preparation of application documents, filing, and rights acquisition procedures
  • Rights acquisition and patent network formation strategies
  • Foreign applications and rights acquisition procedures
  • Infringement prevention survey
  • Brand strategy
  • Design Protection
  • Measures Against Counterfeit Goods
  • Consultation on know-how and trade secrets


Exploitation Support

  • Commercialization Support
  • Intellectual property-related contracts
  • Intellectual Property Valuation
  • Appraisal and dispute resolution
  • Registration of pledge or assignment security over intellectual property rights
Forte of Shuwa

Forte of Shuwa

Total Support

  • High level of technical expertise and organizational response
  • Support in accordance with business strategies
  • Global Support
  • Research and information on intellectual property rights
  • Active support for industry-academia collaboration
  • Computer Software Protection
  • Brand and design protection
  • Copyright Protection

Forte of Shuwa

High level of technical expertise and organizational response

We have patent attorneys with expertise in a variety of technical fields, and our patent attorneys are familiar with the technical content of the invention in any field to provide accurate intellectual property services. When the technical field of an invention is diverse, experts in each field work together to systematically handle the case.

Support in accordance with business strategies

We support our clients' businesses as a partner in their intellectual property strategies from the invention discovery stage through to the acquisition and utilization of rights, based on a deep understanding of our clients' businesses and strategies through close communication, including interviews with inventors.

Global Support

We support our clients' global business development by handling applications in the U.S., Europe, China, Korea, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, Russia, Central and South America, Oceania, and other countries around the world. We have close alliances with patent firms around the world, so we are able to obtain information from each country as quickly as possible and apply it to our IP practice.

Research and information on intellectual property rights

We conduct in-house research on the latest court decisions regarding domestic and foreign intellectual property rights and important topics such as inventive step, support requirements, bio/pharmaceutical inventions, application inventions, and computer-related inventions, and provide the latest information to our clients through our website and seminars.

Active support for industry-academia collaboration

Our highly specialized patent attorneys not only discover inventions and obtain rights to them, but also help connect the results of research at universities and public research institutions to industry through intellectual property education and consultation on intellectual property contracts.

Computer Software Protection

With regard to patent applications for software-related inventions (including business model patents) and artificial intelligence (AI)-related applications, we support the formation of truly "usable" rights while taking into consideration the ease of finding infringement and the black box nature of the know-how portion. We also consider and propose multifaceted protection, such as filing screen design applications and registration of program works.

Brand and design protection

We participate in the planning and development stages of products and services, and work with you to create brand and design strategies that will lead your business to success.

Copyright Protection

We support our clients' copyright business by providing appropriate advice on copyright protection, contracts, and risk management from the perspective of an intellectual property expert.