An International Guide to
Patent Case Management for Judges

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7.3.1 Specialized intellectual property judiciary

Japan has adopted a three-tier court system in relation to civil matters (see Figure 7.8), such as those relating to the Patent Act. For example, in a patent infringement lawsuit, a party who is dissatisfied with the judgment of a court of first instance (the Tokyo District Court or the Osaka District Court) can appeal to the court of second instance (the IP High Court), and a party who is dissatisfied with that decision can appeal to the court of third instance (the Supreme Court). The Court Act, the Code of Civil Procedure and other related laws determine which court has jurisdiction over each case.115

Figure 7.8 The judicial administration structure in Japan

Source: Judicial Administration Structure for IP Disputes provided by the Supreme Court of Japan, available at