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George Kobayashi serves as general counsel to Japanese companies entering the U.S. market. Fluent in English and Japanese, George worked in Japan and understands the Japanese business mindset and how commercial decisions are made and executed. George is valued for his skill in explaining American law and business in a way Japanese executives can understand and leverage to ensure ROI. George feels a sense of personal success when his clients succeed in the domestic marketplace.

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George maintains a unique practice focusing on the representation of Japan-based clients in a wide range of cross-border business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic alliances and other commercial transactions valued into the hundreds of millions of dollars. As Chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property & Technology practice, George has represented and advised public and privately held companies in various industries, including information technology, fashion, application development, transportation, machine tool, automobile, robotics, food products and healthcare.

George regularly assists his clients in all aspects of vertical distribution including franchising, dealership and distributorship programs, sales representative and commercial agency relationships, complex commercial licensing and co-branding arrangements, and direct selling and business opportunity relationships. George has appeared numerous times before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, and regularly advises clients on trademark, service mark, branding, copyright and other intellectual property-related issues.

George also has experience assisting companies internationally, including those in and from Japan, Mexico and Brazil, and has developed strong relationships with experienced business and legal advisors around the world to assist his clients’ expansion into these markets. He has conducted numerous seminars, both in the U.S. and in Japan in English and in Japanese, on a broad range of commercial, intellectual property and other legal issues affecting businesses conducting cross-border transactions.

Prior to law school, George worked in Tokyo as a Product Development Manager for 3Com Corporation and its predecessor US Robotics, Inc. While in law school, he studied comparative law in Tokyo and was a legal intern at the Tokyo office of TMI Associates.

Practice Areas

Education

  • The John Marshall Law School, J.D., 2000
  • Creighton University, B.S.B.A., 1995

Admissions

  • Illinois

Languages

  • Japanese
.
Experience

Experience

Lead legal counsel to a major Japanese automotive component manufacturer in the negotiation, formation and establishment of complex, multi-tiered dual joint venture entities in Mexico with a large scale global private investment fund.
Assisted the world's 10th largest Internet company in the participation of a $27 million round of financing for a Chicago-based global market technology company.

Represented a foreign buyer in a multi-million dollar asset purchase of an industrial products division of an established trading company.

Lead counsel for the sale of a U.S. subsidiary of a Japanese logistics company.

Represented global audio component and accessory manufacturer in their expansion of operations into Brazil.

Assisted a large Japanese trading company in connection with the restructuring of global fashion accessory business with a U.S. partner, involving a series of multi-million dollar acquisitions of the assets located in various territories around the world.

Represented client in the acquisition of a motorcycle and ATV products company in Utah.

Represented Japan-based computer and smart-phone application developer in trademark prosecution and other intellectual property matters.

Represented Japan-based household products manufacturer in the negotiation of long-term manufacture and supply agreements.

Memberships

Memberships

Asian American Bar Association Chicago - Former Board of Director
Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Chicago - Board of Directors
The Japanese American Service Committee Housing Corporation (Heiwa Terrace) - Board of Directors
U.S.-Japan Council - Regional Vice-Chair (Midwest Region)
Professional Activities
Speaking Engagements
Speaker at State of Illinois Investment Seminar in Tokyo and Osaka, 2010-2016
Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Chicago (JCCC) Intellectual Property Seminar, September 2013
Columbia College Fashion Law Seminar, March 2013
News
Masuda Funai Attends Investment Summit in Washington, D.C. on Foreign Direct Investment in the United States
Keith Groebe, George Kobayashi and David Alexander from Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd. attended the SelectUSA Investment Summit…
Masuda Funai Addresses Japanese Keidanren Delegation at Breakfast Hosted by Governor Rauner
PRESS RELEASE CHICAGO - Thomas McMenamin and George Kobayashi from Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd. spoke at an Executive Breakfast…
Distinctions

Distinctions

  • Leading Lawyers, 2015-2018