Etsuo Doi



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. Mr. Doi 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, Mr. Doi 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. Mr. Doi 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, Mr. Doi 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. Mr. Doi is one of very few Japanese lawyers who has real experience in Internet business and legal issues.

Mr. Doi 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., Mr. Doi 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 Mr. Doi serves to organize the team at Foley and becomes the contact person for various legal issues for Japanese clients.

Representative Experience

Mr. Doi’s experience includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Inbound Practice:

Mr. Doi’s inbound practice focuses primarily on general corporate and M&A.

  • One of the lead Japanese counsels representing the leading U.S. supermarket group in its TOB of a leading Japanese department store
  • Represent independent committee of the target public Japanese apparel company regarding TOB by a leading apparel company
  • Represent a major U.S. telecommunications company for its acquisition of a Japanese telecommunications service company
  • Represent Lehman Brothers in its acquisition of a prime mortgage loan business of a leading Japanese financial institution
  • Represent the largest creditor U.S. company for bankruptcy and reorganization of a public Japanese IT company
  • Represent a major U.S. Internet company in its restructuring and reorganization of corporate structures among Asian subsidiaries, including Japan
  • Represent various global M&A deals with regard to handling the Japanese subsidiaries part of the deals
  • Represent a leading online payment solution services company for its various Japan legal matters
  • Represent a leading U.S. based e-commerce company for its various Japan legal matters
  • Represent a Luxemburg based leading IP phone company for its various Japan legal matters
  • Represent a public electronic vehicle venture company for its various Japan legal matters
  • Represent a major Japanese company on negotiations to establish a branch museum of a major U.S. museum
  • Represent a leading Japanese cosmetic company on a joint venture with a French cosmetic company
  • Represent a major French chemical company on a joint venture with a leading Japanese chemical company
  • Prepare various privacy policies and related compliance manuals and work rules for Japanese subsidiaries of foreign companies, including a major U.S. investment bank
  • Represent U.S. based companies in various securities litigation or securities fraud related investigation involving Japan and other Asian regions
  • Represent a major U.S. based company for trade secrets misappropriation in Japan involving Japanese companies
  • Represent a U.S. company as a leading Japanese counsel for global dispute on biotechnology patents of the Nobel Prize awarded invention
  • Represent various U.S. and foreign based companies in its Japan legal issues, including incorporation, agreements drafting, licenses and negotiations, employment, data protection, user agreement/privacy policy drafting and other corporate, compliance and regulatory matters

Outbound Practice:

Mr. Doi’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.

  • Represent a major Japanese electronics company in ITC litigation involving key semiconductor patents
  • Represent a major Japanese electronics company in patent litigation in the Northern District of California
  • Represent a major Japanese electronics company in patent litigation in the Central District of California
  • Represent a major Japanese electronics company in patent litigation in the Southern District of California
  • Represent a major Japanese electronics company in patent litigation in the Eastern District of Texas
  • Represent a major automotive company in patent litigation in the Eastern District of Texas
  • Represent a major Japanese electronics company in its acquisition of a U.S. media company
  • Assist a leading Japanese gas company in its long term LNG project for Gorgon Australia
  • Represent a leading Japanese gas company in its long term LNG project with the leading LNG company in Qatar
  • Represent a major Japanese pharmaceuticals company in dispute with a major U.S. pharmaceuticals company relating to joint development
  • Represent a leading Japanese gas company in its long term LNG project with the leading LNG company in Oman
  • Organize and manage legal due diligence in 26 countries, including U.S., Europe, Asia, Mid East and South America of a new business provided by a leading Japanese general trading company


Mr. Doi 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 Mr. Doi for his intellectual property and corporate and mergers & acquisitions work in Japan (2013). The Legal 500 Asia Pacific also specifically noted Mr. Doi (2011, 2012). Mr. Doi 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), Mr. Doi 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.

Thought Leadership

Mr. Doi is well versed in Japanese corporate, technology, and Internet laws and has been a panel speaker at numerous technology conferences. Mr. Doi 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. Mr. Doi 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. Mr. Doi has also taught in Japanese law schools, business schools and graduate schools, including Waseda University, Meiji Gakuin University and Nihon University.


Mr. Doi is a graduate of Tokyo University (L.L.B., 1988), and from Columbia University School of Law (LL.M., 1996).


Mr. Doi 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.


Mr. Doi is fluent in Japanese and English.

Representative Matters

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In January 2014, Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co., Ltd entered into an agreement with Edison Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Edison") that amends the license agreement between the two companies relating to EPI-743 and EPI-589, which are therapeutic agents under development for mitochondrial disease. On the same date, a joint research agreement for discovery of novel candidate pharmaceutical compounds targeting cellular energy metabolism and a stock purchase agreement relating to DSP’s purchase of an equity interest in Edison were also entered into. Foley & Lardner LLP client Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co., Ltd. manufactures and sells pharmaceuticals, food ingredients, food additives, veterinary medicines, diagnostics, and others in Japan, China, North America, and internationally. The company offers various pharmaceutical products and develops and sells ingredients and additives and offers veterinary medicines for companion animals, including dogs and cats; and farm animals, such as cattle, swine, horses, and cultured fish. Additionally, the company develops point-of-care testing diagnostic products for infectious diseases. The company was founded in 1897 and is headquartered in Osaka, Japan. Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co., Ltd. operates as a subsidiary of Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. Edison Pharmaceuticals is a biotechnology company based on the discovery and development of low-molecular therapeutic drugs for the treatment of Mitochondrial disease. Founded in 2006, it is headquartered in Mountain View, California, USA.
Represented a global developer in the structuring and negotiating of a joint venture to co-develop, own and operate 28 solar and wind projects with estimated nameplate capacity in excess of 1,000 MWs in Japan under the Japanese FIT program, which included the structuring of a G.K. (godo kaisha) joint venture entity.