On October 1, 2019, the Intellectual Property Departments of the Tokyo District Court and Osaka District Court commenced a new practice of conciliation under the Civil Conciliation Act for resolving intellectual property-related disputes. The new practice of conciliation proceedings ("IP Conciliation") is intended to provide alternative dispute resolution for parties to smoothly and swiftly resolve disputes relating to intellectual property rights after obtaining the advice and views of a conciliation board consisting of three experts, including one judge belonging to the court's intellectual property department.

IP Conciliation contemplates that a petition for conciliation will be filed with the Tokyo District Court or Osaka District Court upon agreement between the disputing parties, and that the dispute should generally be resolved privately within three hearings. If an IP Conciliation is unsuccessful or withdrawn and a complaint is filed for the same dispute, it will not be heard by the same judge from the IP Conciliation.

Given that IP Conciliation is presided over by a judge from the court's intellectual property department, it is expected to provide an effective means of dispute resolution for suitable cases, such as disputes arising during negotiations between parties that do not involve very complicated issues and in which both parties wish to resolve the dispute amicably.

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