Etsuo Doi is a partner and intellectual property lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. He represents both Japan-based and international companies in matters relating to cross-border transactions, intellectual property, e-commerce, joint ventures, licensing and general corporate work. Etsuo is a member of the firm’s Business Law and Intellectual Property Departments and Transactional & Securities, International, Electronics, and Privacy, Security & Information Management Practices. He is also a member of the Energy Industry Team.
Prior to joining Foley, Etsuo was a partner at other major U.S. law firms. Previously, he was corporate counsel at eBay, Inc. and chief legal counsel at eBay Japan KK. He started working for eBay as outside counsel in early 1999 shortly after its successful IPO when eBay was seeking to expand globally. While serving as outside counsel, he had found the value of working more closely with eBay to experience the then novel e-commerce business model with a number of uncertain legal issues as well as to gain business experience. He decided to join eBay as in-house counsel as well as one of the top executives for eBay Japan K.K. Etsuo is one of very few Japanese lawyers who has real experience in Internet business and legal issues.
He was an AFS exchange student during his senior year of high school staying with a host family in Westchester County, New York. The host father was a partner of a leading New York law firm. Through his experience, he developed a much deeper understanding of U.S. culture than most Japanese bengoshi.
Utilizing his rather unique bilingual and bicultural skills with private practice experience, in-house legal practice experience, start-up experience, business experience, experience in having worked both in traditional Japanese organizations and U.S. style organizations, etc., Etsuo has developed a unique practice of reasonable combination of inbound and outbound legal work. Inbound practice is for assisting foreign clients in their Japanese investments and Japanese legal issues, or for assisting Japanese clients as a counterparty to foreign companies investing into Japan. Outbound practice is for assisting Japanese clients on various overseas legal matters of the United States and other countries. Outbound practice area is broader than inbound as hei serves to organize the team at Foley and becomes the contact person for various legal issues for Japanese clients.
Etsuo experience includes, but is not limited to, the following:
His inbound practice focuses primarily on general corporate and M&A.
Etsuo's outbound work includes intellectual property (particularly patent) related disputes, negotiations and licensing matters representing major Japanese companies, and corporate M&A related outbound matters.
Etsuo has been listed in Best Lawyers® as one of a very limited number of Japanese lawyers in the area of international business transactions (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012). The Legal 500 recognized him for his intellectual property and corporate and mergers & acquisitions work in Japan (2013). The Legal 500 Asia Pacific also specifically noted him (2011, 2012). Etsuo has been ranked by Leading LAWYER 100 ASIA PACIFIC as one of Asia’s leading lawyers in intellectual property (2012, 2013) and, in 2011 in electronics. He was selected as one of only eight lawyers in Japan and one of only two Japan licensed lawyers (bengoshi) as the World’s Leading Patents and Technology Licensing Lawyers (IAM Licensing 250) (2010, 2011, 2012). Etsuo has also been selected as one of only ten lawyers in Japan and one of only two Japan licensed lawyers (bengoshi) in patent licensing for the World’s Leading Patent Practitioners 2012 - 2016 (IAM Patent 1000), and one of eight lawyers in Japan and one of only two (bengoshi) in patent litigation for the same publication. has also been recognized in IAM Patent 1000 – The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners for his work in transactions in 2020.
Etsuo is well versed in Japanese corporate, technology, and Internet laws and has been a panel speaker at numerous technology conferences. He also has particular experience in privacy laws and regulations, and has been a board member of Council of Experts on Personal Information Protection in Japan. He is a consistent contributor of law articles to major publications both in Japanese and in English. He has been a member of a number of major government related committees, and is a drafter of the Japanese government’s E-Commerce Guidelines.
He is a governor of the board and an adjunct professor of law at Temple University Law School (Japan campus) and has taught courses, including the Comparative Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights, Comparative Intellectual Property and East-West Negotiation. Etsuo has also taught in Japanese law schools, business schools and graduate schools, including Waseda University, Meiji Gakuin University and Nihon University.
Etsuo is a graduate of Tokyo University (L.L.B., 1988), and from Columbia University School of Law (LL.M., 1996).
Etsuo is an attorney at law admitted to practice in Japan and New York. He is also a patent attorney admitted to practice in Japan. He is a member of the Tokyo Bar Association, the Japan Patent Bar Association, the New York Bar Association and the American Bar Association.
Etsuo is fluent in Japanese and English.