Fujikura Ltd.

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CSR

Governance

Intellectual Property

Protecting Intellectual Properties

Fujikura engages in business operations fully respecting the intellectual property rights of others. Based on this policy, R&D divisions and IP divisions work together to investigate connections between the Company’s products and technologies and other people’s patents or intellectual property rights. Specifically, patent information domestically and internationally on R&D division research themes is shared regularly and expert investigators are assigned to IP divisions to support investigations by R&D divisions. A number of lawyers that are employed by the company are also involved in determining the technical scope of products. In addition, we ask outside experts for their judgement when necessary. In fiscal 2017, we created a set of guidelines on copyrights and published it internally for employees to ensure we respect the copyrights of third parties.

Meanwhile, we take appropriate actions under the law to protect our patent rights, design rights, and trademarks from unauthorized use.

Policy on the Protection of Intellectual Properties

Intellectual Property Strategy

We shall actively protect the results obtained from research and development through acquisition of intellectual property rights to ensure the superiority of the business and to develop business while fully respecting the intellectual property rights of third parties We are acting as a basic policy on intellectual property. Based on this basic policy, we are addressing issues such as the following as intellectual property activities integrated with business strategy as a vision of intellectual property activities corresponding to the mid-term management plan of 2020.

Intellectual Property Strategy According to Business

Activities to Improve Brand Value

The Fujikura Group has been working proactively to improve its brand value. We are using our brand logo at more than 70 manufacturing and sales bases located in Japan and abroad. To increase global recognition of the brand logo, we are fostering the labeling of the logo on our exports as well as on our products manufactured outside Japan. We have also pursued brand licensing with overseas agents.

We are moving ahead with the registration of the logo as our trademark for all the countries and regions in which we operate by 2020. We have thus completed the process in more than 160 countries, and completed registration in Bolivia, Ecuador, Cambodia and others in 2017.

We make use of the obtained trademark rights to prevent illegal use of the brand logo and malicious use of the Fujikura domain name.

In 2017, we stopped unauthorized use in Belgium. In addition, we began monitoring the unauthorized use on e-commerce sites and deleting inappropriate pages. Unauthorized and fraudulent use of the brand logo on the Internet are on the rise year by year. We will continue striving to discover infringements on the Internet around the world and strictly exercise our rights against those who infringe our intellectual property.

Trade Secret Management

Based on the regulations concerning management of trade secrets, the Company properly manages it. Especially, when securing the invention as a trade secret without applying for a patent, we conduct confidentiality management according to its importance based on internal regulations. Among them, highly important information that affects the business is managed as a trade secret so that relief of the Unfair Competition Prevention Act can be obtained. In addition, even if another company independently develops and acquires a patent about the technology afterwards, we also take actions to obtain prior use rights so that we can implement it.

In fiscal 2017, we published internal guidelines on the management of confidential information and we are now promoting more advanced activities under these guidelines.


Acquisition and Management of Intellectual Property

We regard intellectual property obtained through research and development as one of the management resources to ensure the superiority of technology, and actively proceed with acquisition and management of rights for domestic and overseas in coordination with the development department, business department and intellectual property department.

Regarding acquisition, we thoroughly discuss with the inventor about the essence of the invention and the range of possibilities that can be acquired, and we apply for licensing after considering the invention’s business contribution. Even regarding intellectual property rights that we have acquired, we judge the necessity of maintaining these rights each year based on the business value of the rights, and working to keep the optimum IP portfolio for our business at all times.

In addition, we are doing various forms of management from application to extinguishment of rights with our proprietary intellectual property management system. Information obtained from this system is shared in a timely manner with the development department, the business department, and the intellectual property department, and it is used for planning patent strategies and various systems within the company besides managing intellectual property.

Patent Ownership and Patents Pending

Patents Owned in Japan

The number of patents we hold in Japan continues to increase with each passing year. In fiscal 2017, we owned 2,993 patents.

Patents Owned Overseas

The number of patents we hold outside of Japan continues to increase with each passing year following the globalization of our business operations. In fiscal 2017, we owned 1,640 foreign patents. In particular, we own an increasing number of patents in the United States, Europe and China.

Patents Pending in Japan

The number of Fujikura’s patents pending in Japan ranges between 450 and 550.

Every year we apply for around 300 patents outside of Japan to ensure the superiority of our business operations internationally.
In addition, we make effective use of patent cooperation treaty applications to ensure sufficient rights are exercised in multiple countries.

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