USJC Board of Directors

Mr. George Kobayashi

President, Chicago
Masuda Funai

President of Masuda Funai, 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.

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 a member 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.