• 2023.08.23
  • Dispute Resolution

Unjustified claims and improper claims from foreign countries

Outline of the Case

Our client, Company (I), received a demand from an overseas manufacturer to pay 1,000,000 yen for a product, but the demand was completely out of the ordinary. After the client came to us for consultation, we notified him in English that we had never entered into a contract with the manufacturer and that we were not liable in any way, and he stopped receiving any claims.

Kuribayashi Sogo Law Office Services

We have interviewed the client and prepared draft responses to the other party in English and Japanese. The Japanese version is for the client’s use, so that the client can better understand the content and revise the content as necessary.

Response to Unjustified Claims from Abroad

There are many cases in which unjustified claims and demands are made by overseas business partners and other parties. When a Japanese company has no idea what is going on, or when a claim is made even though it is not their responsibility, even though they have some understanding of the facts, they are often upset because they consider it to be an unjustified or unreasonable claim. Even in such cases, in some cases, the other party may be pursuing the Japanese company’s responsibility based on a different understanding of the facts. In such cases, if the Japanese company completely ignores the claim and does not respond in any way, the other party may have no choice but to file a suit for damages in a foreign court. If the Japanese company does not respond at all to the damage suit, it is not impossible that a judgment in absentia may be rendered and that judgment may be enforced in Japan in the future. Therefore, even if a foreign company makes a claim or claim that is clearly unjustified, it is not advisable to leave it as it is, and it is advisable to file a proper Rebuttal Letter. The rebuttal letter itself may serve as evidence in the future.

Claims of patent infringement from a patent troll

There are many unjustified claims from foreign companies regarding patent infringement. We have also had a case in which a German company claimed patent infringement against our client, a case in which an American patent troll company demanded payment of license fees due to patent infringement, and a case in which an Italian company claimed patent infringement. It is necessary to make a judgment as to whether the other party’s claim is correct and whether there is infringement of patent rights, including cases where the claim is from a patent troll. In response to claims of patent infringement by foreign companies, Kuribayashi Sogo Law Office often requests a patent attorney firm with which we have a partnership to search for foreign patents and prepare a written opinion.

Patent infringement claim from a German company

Our client was planning to purchase goods from a German company (A) and sell them in Japan, when another German company (X) sent a written notice stating that the goods the Japanese company was going to handle infringed a patent in Germany. We consulted with the client, obtained the German patent specification, and prepared a counter-argument to the effect that the technology had been widely used in Japan since before the patent application was filed and that the patent was invalid. No further communication has been received from the German company (X). We assume that this case is probably the result of a dispute between Company A and Company X in Germany, and that the Japanese company was notified in order to restrict Company A’s exports to Japan.

Patent Infringement claim from an Italian company

Our client was importing products from Italy (Company A), and another Italian company (Company X) made a claim that the products handled by our client infringed on Company X’s patent. In addition, an application for that patent had been filed in Japan. We analyzed the patent with our partner patent firm and had the patent firm prepare an opinion stating that there was no infringement of the patent. We also reached a settlement with the owner of the patent in Japan and ensured that the product could be imported into Japan without any problems.

Response to Unjustified Claims

Kuribayashi Sogo Law Office also prepares and sends a written rebuttal to such unjustified claims and improper claims from overseas in the name of the agent. With respect to claims of patent infringement, we work with our affiliated patent attorneys to obtain the application (in English) for the patent claimed by the other party and conduct a preliminary search for the existence of infringement before submitting a counter-argument. If necessary, we can also obtain a written opinion from a patent attorney as to whether or not a patent is infringed.

Sample Rebuttal Letter

20 March, 2020

ABC Law Firm

We are legal counsels of XXX corporation (the “Client”). We are referring to your letter dated 10 March, 2020.

Based on the explanation of the Client, we assume there are some misunderstanding between YYY and the Client. The Client denied that it owes YYY any money at all. According to the Client, the Client hired YYY to provide the delivery service of the Client’s products, but YYY failed to do any of the job agreed upon, and in fact did not do any job at all. As a result, the Client had to hire another service provider to do the jobs YYY had originally agreed to do. We hereby enclose a receipt for the delivery service performed by the other provider. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time. As we represent the Client, please do not contact to the Client directly.