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Leading international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has advised US' Monotype on the acquisition of Japan's Fontworks from Softbank's SB Technology.

The Japanese company is a 30-year-old type studio synonymous with premium Japanese type design, with its fonts preferred by film, television and gaming companies. Massachusetts-based Monotype offers designers, programmers and creatives access to over 40,000 typefaces, as well as designing custom fonts for global brands such as the UK Premier League and Duolingo.

"From apps to advertising, fonts influence every aspect of our lives, so this was a fascinating deal for all involved," said partner Joseph Fisher. "As you can imagine for a business of this nature, IP was a key element of the transaction and partner Harry Evans provided exceptional support for this aspect."

"In a strong investment climate, we are increasingly taking the lead on sophisticated inbound Japan deals," said Joseph. "That's especially true for complex transactions that might require additional international expertise to close the deal – in this case, the multi-tiered IP protection of typefaces and fonts."

Joseph and Harry's team comprised Alexander Chuprunov, Naoko Adachi, Sue May Yeo, Ryu Long and Elisa Wong.

Key contacts

Joseph Fisher photo

Joseph Fisher

Partner, Tokyo

Joseph Fisher
Harry Evans photo

Harry Evans

Partner, Singapore

Harry Evans

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