Institute Director

Nobuhiro Nakayama

Nobuhiro Nakayama

  • Director of Nakayama Nobuhiro Intellectual Property Law Research Institute
  • Senior Advisor to Sakai International Patent Office
  • Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo
  • Member of the Japan Academy
  • Attorney-at-Law

We are proud to have had Dr. Nobuhiro Nakayama as our Senior Advisor at Sakai International Patent Office since April 2008.
He is Japan’s greatest authority on intellectual property law. Over his long career as a professor of the Faculty of Law at the University of Tokyo, he helped to guide and shape the country’s intellectual property laws. We had the privilege of opening the Nobuhiro Nakayama Intellectual Property Law Research Institute at our firm to provide facilities where Dr. Nakayama could continue his research and where we could benefit from his valuable advice and guidance. Dr. Nakayama conducts research on the future of intellectual property law system as Director of the Institute.


  • 1968
    Passed the second-stage of testing for the bar examination
  • June 1969
    Graduated from the University of Tokyo, Faculty of Law, Class 1
  • July 1969
    Research Assistant, Faculty of Law, University of Tokyo
  • August 1973
    Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Tokyo
  • March 1984
    Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Tokyo
  • April 1991
    Professor, Graduate School of Law and Politics, University of Tokyo
  • April 2001
    Professor, Business Law Center, Graduate School of Law and Politics, University of Tokyo
  • April 2006
    Professor, Center for Business Law and Comparative Law and Politics, Graduate School of Law and Politics, University of Tokyo
  • March 2008
    Retired from the University of Tokyo and registered as an attorney-at-law (affiliated with the Dai-ichi Tokyo Bar Association).
  • April 2008
    Advisor to Nishimura & Asahi Law Firm, Chief Advisor to Sakai International Patent Office
  • June 2008
    Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo
  • April 2009
    Specially Appointed Professor, Institute of Research and Intellectual Property Strategy, Meiji University
  • 2009
    Officer, JFBA Committee on Intellectual Property Rights
  • 2012
    Received the Purple Ribbon Medal of Honor
  • 2016
    Visiting Professor, Kanazawa Institute of Technology
  • 2018
    Received the Order of the Sacred Treasure and became a member of the Japan Academy.

Member of the Intellectual Property Strategy Headquarters (Cabinet Secretariat), Member of the Industrial Structure Council (Chairperson of the Intellectual Property Policy Committee) (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry), Member of the Industrial Property Council (Chairperson) (Japan Patent Office), Member of the Cultural Council (Agency for Cultural Affairs), Member of the Council for Customs, Foreign Exchange, etc. (Chairperson) (Ministry of Finance), Member of the National Diet Library Council (Chairperson) (The National Diet Library), Representative Director and Chairperson of the Institute of Intellectual Property, Japan

A message from the Director

In 2008, I retired from my long career in the Faculty of Law at the University of Tokyo. I then registered as an attorney-at-law, and worked at Nishimura & Asahi Law Firm until joining Sakai International Patent Office in 2022.
I had already been serving as a part-time Chief Advisor to Sakai International Patent Office since 2008, but now, I am a full-time Chief Advisor.
The office also has established the Intellectual Property Law Research Institute, where I will continue my research on intellectual property law.
I have known Chairman Hiroaki Sakai since my time as a faculty member at the University of Tokyo, where he was a graduate school student. This connection is what has led to my working at Sakai International Patent Office.
I dedicated myself in studying at the University of Tokyo for a long time, and I have only been engaged in practical work since 2008. This means that I am not necessarily a specialist in patent prosecution, but I hope to be of use as an advisor to the staff here on legal issues regarding IP law, such as copyright cases and other infringement cases.
With the rapid development of digital technology, the world of intellectual property has become more chaotic and cases more complex. I will work hard to help our office keep up with such changes.

Nobuhiro Nakayama


The biography of an intellectual property jurist

The biography of an intellectual property jurist

This is the memoir of a scholar who was born at the end of World War II and chose a career as a researcher in the years of disturbances at universities. After receiving guidance from various teachers he encountered, this scholar built up a new discipline called intellectual property law.
In the course of establishing this new field of study, he agonizes over what to study and suffers from physical illnesses. Whether you are involved in IP law or not, you will learn from and be inspired by this book.

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  • Date of issue
    May 2022
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Copyright Act (Fourth Edition)

著作権法 第4版

Written by a leader in this field, this book systematically explains intellectual property and copyright law in Japan.
The fourth edition incorporates the 2020 and 2021 amendments, with the 2023 amendments explained in the addendum at the end of the book.
This book provides in-depth interpretation of copyright law and is useful for practical work and study, as it sincerely addresses the difficulties that have arisen due to advances in science and technology.

  • Publisher
  • Date of issue
    Octber 2023
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Patent Act (Fifth Edition)

特許法 第5版

This text discusses modern patent law, that politics, economics and society all face major turning points, based on the idea that patent rights must be designed in harmony with the interests of society in general from the perspective for emphasizing the balance between rights holders and society.
This is the textbook written systematically by a leading expert, covering revisions of the Patent Act up to 2022, following precedents and theories, and explaining legal interpretations with sophisticated description in consideration of the changes that are constantly occurring in the world.

  • Publisher
  • Date of issue
    November 2023
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Patent Act, New Interpretation (Second edition)

新・注解 特許法〔第2版〕

A large volume from a trilogy, incorporating the theory and practice of patent law without leaving out a single detail. It covers the vast body of legal precedents and literature to elucidate the current state of patent law.

  • Publisher
    Seirin Shoin
  • Date of issue
    September 2017
  • Language
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Multimedia and Copyright


Issues such as databases and citations, copying of digitized information, altering of programs by users, and other issues concerning information and the rights thereto are unique to the advanced information age in which we live. Given that multimedia plays an important role in modern society, what kind of information protection legislation should be in place for its development? This book carefully explains the current situation of copyright with an eye to the future.

  • Publisher
    Iwanami Shoten
  • Date of issue
    January 1996
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Other Publications

  • Intellectual Property Research Series 9: The Future of Intellectual Property Law (co-authored), Shinzan-sha, Dec. 2010
  • Intellectual Property Rights Research V, Yushodo Shuppan, May 2008
  • Intellectual Property Research I/II/III/IV, Tokyo Nunoi Shuppan, Jan. 1990 to Dec. 1999
  • Commentary: Patent Law (3rd edition), Seirin Shoin, Aug. 2000
  • Legal Protection of Software - New Edition, Yuhikaku, Jul. 1988
  • Intellectual Property: A New Weapon of Corporate Strategy (co-authored), Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, Nov. 1987
  • Study of Inventors’ Rights, University of Tokyo Press, Jan. 1987
  • International Issues Associated with the Legal Protection of Software, Nippon Institute for Research Advancement, Oct. 1985
  • Foundations of Industrial Property Law, Seirin Shoin, Mar. 1980