Kanako Inokuchi’s practice spans all major aspects of intellectual property law, dispute resolution and general corporate transactions, with a particular focus on IT, e-commerce, data protection and sports law.

    Kanako regularly advises clients on a wide range of intellectual property matters relating to patent rights, trademark/trade dress and design rights and copyright. She also advises clients on corporate strategies related to the Unfair Competition Prevention Act and frequently handles both international and domestic license negotiation, contract compilation and infringement lawsuits, including cross-border patent infringement cases in coordination with US-based lawyers. She also assists clients contemplating or entering into new businesses with matters pertaining to the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, privacy and data protection.

    Kanako has considerable experience working on projects led by various Japanese ministries, including the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Japan Patent Office and the Agency for Cultural Affairs. In addition to research, she continuously drafts government guidelines in many areas of intellectual property and IT laws, such as the new guidelines recently published by METI on e-commerce.

    Kanako handles comprehensive consultation cases concerning e-commerce and she supports the drafting of contracts and regulations related to goods sales, online services and data transactions.

    Regarding data protection, Kanako deals with aspects of intellectual property rights and protection of personal information. She also supports the drafting of contract provisions, privacy policies, etc., in relation to the application of foreign laws such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Regarding GDPR, she focuses on measures taken by Japanese companies in collaboration with the London office.

    In consultation matters on new business related to IoT and big data, Kanako identifies the legal problems that can arise in business schemes, analyzes risks and gives advice.

    In sports law, Kanako has gained significant experience through her role as an executive board member of the National Federations of Japan, assisting with the development of their internal policies to enhance governance and compliance within their organizations. She works closely with the Japan Sports Agency, Japan Olympics Committee, Japan Sports Arbitration Agency and many other national federations in Japan. She is also an external independent legal advisor to the Japan Sport Council and supports individual athletes. She has recently been elected to serve on the Legal Commission of the International Fencing Federation and on the Women’s Council of Fencing Confederation of Asia.

    Kanako is also a member of the Daini Tokyo Bar Association, Copyright Law Association of Japan, the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI), and Japan Sports Law Association, as well as an executive board member of the Japan Fencing Federation (Federation Japonaise d’Escrime).

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    • University of Washington, LL.M., Intellectual Property Law and Policy, 2003
    • The Legal Training & Research Inst. of Japan, 1998
    • Meiji Gakuin University, LL.B., 1986


    • Japan, 1998


    • Japanese
    • English
    • Recommended in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2017 in Intellectual Property – International Firms and Joint Ventures, Japan.
    • Recommended as a Leading Individual in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2016 for Intellectual Property – International Firms and Joint Ventures, Japan.

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    • “The role of lawyers in the sports organizations,” Hogaku Seminar, 2018.
    • “New Possibilities for Protection of Store Appearance,” NBL, Shoji-homu, May 2017.
    • “Legal issues regarding provision of digital contents on the internet,” Guidelines on Electronic Commerce and Information Trading Committee by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Supplement NBL, 2016.
    • “Impact of Brexit on your IP rights,” e-hoki, Shinnippon-Hoki Publishing, August 2016.
    • “Liability of board members of the Public Interest corporations,” e-hoki, Shinnippon-Hoki Publishing, July 2016.
    • “Copyright and the IT – A study of US cases,” Dai-ichi Hoki, 2013.

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