Five minutes with … Tsuyoshi Sueyoshi, Yuasa and Hara
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Five minutes with … Tsuyoshi Sueyoshi, Yuasa and Hara

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Each week Managing IP speaks to a different IP lawyer about their life and career

Welcome to the latest instalment of Managing IP’s ‘Five minutes with’ series, where we learn more about IP lawyers on a personal as well as a professional level. This time we have Tsuyoshi Sueyoshi, partner at Yuasa and Hara in Tokyo.

Someone asks you at a party what you do for a living. What do you say?

Academic mercenary (person for hire) or part-time staff officer in contentious matters or negotiations.

Talk us through a typical working day.

Attending one or more meetings with a client(s), drafting briefs for lawsuits and/or invalidation actions, preparing advice and opinions to questions to clients, searching for evidence, studying precedents and academic literature.

What are you working on at the moment?

Drafting a complaint. The deadline is approaching.

Does one big piece of work usually take priority or are you juggling multiple things?

I juggle multiple tasks until 5:30 pm before focusing on one big piece after 5:30 pm. During business hours, it is difficult to focus on one heavy task, because of interruptions.

What is the most exciting aspect of your role and what is the most stressful?

Winning in disputes, the conclusion or closing of agreements, and completing draft papers are among the most exciting.

Approaching deadlines is the most stressful.

Tell us the key characteristics that make a successful IP lawyer.

Interest and understanding in science and technology. Putting forward logical arguments.

What is the most common misconception about IP?

IP rights are fragile and artificial. Some people believe that once a patent is granted it is solid. However, when an opposing party finds buried but competent prior art, a patent can be invalidated.

What or who inspires you?

Questions from clients.

If you weren't an IP lawyer, what would you be doing?

I'd be a researcher or a scientist.

Any advice you would give your younger self?

Tomorrow is another day.

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