Yoshitaka SONODA, Ph.D.


Co-founder, Managing Partner, Patent Attorney

YoshitakaSonodaWebYoshitaka Sonoda is fluent in both English and French, skills which were acquired as a researcher at the Saclay Nuclear Research Center of the Commissariat a l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (France).
Dr. Sonoda spent three years there after working on transient vibration and instability problems in nonlinear systems, for which he was awarded a PhD by the University of Tokyo.
After returning to Japan, he was a researcher at Hitachi, Ltd., and he joined the field of intellectual property law in 1987.
He has acquired extensive knowledge and experience in various aspects of intellectual property rights over more than 30 years, including 10 years served as a Director in a major Japanese IP firm, and as a Managing Director at Sonoda & Kobayashi since its founding in 1998.
As the primary patent litigator, Dr. Sonoda handles appeals, invalidations and infringement proceedings for private companies and public organizations from France, Denmark, Germany and the US before Japanese courts.
Dr. Sonoda regularly gives seminars abroad and at IP organizations and associations.
Dr.Sonoda has been rated as one of “the world’s leading patent professionals” in “IAM PATENT 1000” since 2016.


Physics, Nuclear Technology, Thermodynamics, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, Liquid Crystal Technology, Fluid Mechanics, Optics, Computing, Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering, Electromagnetism, Litigation, Invalidation and Infringement lawsuits, Trade secrets and licensing negotiations for international corporations


  • MS, PhD, Structural Engineering, The University of Tokyo
  • BS, Structural Engineering, Yokohama National University


  • Y.Sonoda, A.Santino “Comparing patent validity standards in invalidation actions at the EPO and JPO” Patent Lawyer Magazine, March/April 2020.
  • Y. Sonoda, N. Crick "Avoiding the Perils of Collaboration" World Intellectual Property Review, Annual 2017 Edition.
  • Y. Sonoda, D. Beylier "Japan’s IP High Court Takes a Stand Against Violation of Public Order and Morality for Trademarks" World IP Review, September/October 2012 Edition.
  • Y. Sonoda "Amendments to Japanese IP Laws" World IP Review, September/October 2011 Edition.
  • Y. Sonoda, D. Beylier "Drastic changes made to the Patent Law" Managing Intellectual Property, Pp Focus, Asia-Pacific & Middle East, 8th Edition, 2010.
  • Y. Sonoda "Controversy over Patent Term Extension" Managing Intellectual Property, IP Focus, Asia-Pacific & Middle East, 8th Edition, 2009.
  • Y. Sonoda "Speeding up patent applications in Japan" World IP Review, September/October 2009 Edition.
  • Y. Sonoda "Coping with the lastest examination and appeal practices" Managing Intellectual Property, IP Focus, February 2009.


  • Japanese (native)
  • English
  • French


  • Japanese Patent Attorneys Associations (JPAA)
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA)


  • "Japan in 2017: trends in patent prosecution and adversarial proceedings", MIP IP in Asia Forum (hosted by Managing Intellectual Property with Sponsorship of Sonoda & Kobayashi Intellectual Property Law), June 6, 2017 and June 8, 2017,
  • Washington DC and Sheraton Hotel, Palo Alto "Essential Facts for Successful Prosecution and Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in Japan", Technology Export Research Roundtable (hosted by the Zhongguancun Science Park (Z-Park) Administrative Committee with the assistance of the Beijing Administration of Foreign Affairs), 9 September 2015, Beijing (invited speaker)
  • "Effective IP Protection in Japan", MIP IP in Asia Forum 2015, 9 June 2015
  • "Positioning Patents in the Construction Industry -Special Aspects of the Construction Industry-", Japan Intellectual Property Association Provisional Construction Workgroup, 15 March 2012