Strategy for Intellectual Property
We recognize that intellectual property rights such as patent rights and design rights, which are the results of our research and development, trademark rights, which form the basis of our brand strength, and copyright, which is the result of our intellectual creativity, are important assets of our company. We strictly control all matters regarding their acquisition, maintenance and abdication based on an established flow.
Based on the basic principle of “the maintenance of competitive order,” we do not only assert the intellectual property rights of our company, but also respect the rights of other companies. We are putting together an inquiry system that ensures we do not infringe the patent rights and trademark rights of other companies.
Furthermore, based on the importance of intellectual property information, as well as constructing a system to communicate and gather intellectual property information within the company, by actively carrying out licensing based on patent rights, which are the results of technical development, we are working to utilize our intellectual property rights. To further promote activity related to intellectual property rights, annually we publish a report on our activities related to intellectual property, pay a bonus for inventions that are implemented, and to increase employees’ awareness of intellectual property, hold an annual presentation to announce excellent inventions and an invention contest.
Number of patents we hold
As of the end of fiscal 2020, the number of patents that we hold (including those obtained overseas) was 1,212, up from 109 at the end of fiscal 2019. The number of domestic patent applications in fiscal 2019 was 232. Regarding the breakdown of fields of those applications, in addition to our core business of housing and construction, in recent years, the ratio of applications related to the fields of IT and IoT, and the environment, are increasing.
Number of our patents over the past five years, number of domestic patent applications