After Kiyoshi Kozu graduated from Tokyo University of Science in 1985 with a bachelor’s in engineering, he worked for an IP Division of Seiko Epson Corp. in Japan.
Assigned to various tasks and projects — domestic and foreign patent applications, offensive and defensive patent licensing negotiations as well as patent litigation — he was involved in a number of products, including a semiconductor device, watch, LCD, projector and printer. He also interacted with U.S. patent attorneys on various occasions.
“I enjoyed having technical and legal discussions as part of the licensing negotiation processes with other Japanese, U.S., and Korean companies,” says Kozu, now a patent attorney and principal with Harness IP, an intellectual property law firm with an office in Troy. “I was also involved in patenting a very important technology for a semiconductor device, which was a terrific experience.”
Kozu was also instrumental in the successful patent infringement litigation involving ink cartridges for Epson inkjet printers before the International Trade Commission and U.S. District Court.
“Although an ink cartridge for an inkjet printer has a generally simple structure, Seiko Epson carefully and strategically managed to file many different kinds of patent applications — through also continuation and divisional applications — and prosecute them with carefully selected arguments in remarks,” he said.
“Those efforts were beneficial, with respect to an inkjet cartridge infringement case, for their victories before the ITC and in federal district court against 29 defendants.”