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CSR

CSR Integrated Report

Fujikura Group CSR Integrated Report 2015
[ISO 26000 Core Subject] Organizational Governance

Intellectual property

Fujikura Group's brand logo

The history of the Fujikura Group's brand logo dates back more than 100 years ago to 1910, when Fujikura was reorganized from a partnership corporation to a joint-stock corporation. Subsequently in 1985, the Company established a new corporate mark in celebration of the 100th anniversary of its founding. Twenty-five years later in 2009, the present brand logo (registered trademark) was established and began to be used by Fujikura Ltd. first followed by its domestic consolidated subsidiaries in March 2011. Presently, the logo is also used outside Japan by the Company's wholly-owned subsidiaries.

The Fujikura Group's brand logo (registered trademark) is the most basic and essential tool used to communicate our brand image and is composed of the following three elements: the corporate symbol, the alphabetical letters "Fujikura" and the corporate color. The brand logo plays an important role as a symbol of the Fujikura Group and is designed to be regarded as proof of our reliability for customers and society at large and to attract more people to the Group.

The Fujikura Group is fostering its business in a number of countries around the world. In order to expand our business strategically in the global market, we are making a better use of our brand logo. At present, we have registered or are applying for registration of the logo in more than 150 countries.

Fujikura Group's brand logo

Activities to improve the value of the Fujikura brand

The Fujikura Group has been proactively conducting activities to improve its brand value. We are using the brand logo set in 2012 as the Group's single logo at more than 70 manufacturing and sales bases of the Group 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 been making applications for the registration of the logo as our trademark for all the countries and regions in which we operate, and completed the process in ASEAN 10 countries last year. We have thus completed the process in more than 165 countries, including Western countries, BRICs, and other emerging economies such as VISTA.

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 FY 2015, we made correspondence in Kazakhstan, Russia and South Africa. Unauthorized and injustice use of the brand logo on the Internet are on the rise year by year. We will continue striving to discover infringement acts in the Internet and around the world and strictly exercise their rights to those who infringe our group's property.

Fujikura Group's policy on the brand logo

In March 2011, the Group set its policy on the brand logo with a view to expanding the use of the logo across both Japanese and overseas Group companies.

Fujikura Group Brand Logo Policy

The Fujikura Group defines a uniform worldwide brand logo in order to advance our business strategically at the global level.

Training and seminars on intellectual property

As an educational activity to improve employees' knowledge as part of intellectual property activities, we have seminars for group employees by external lecturers. In addition, training on intellectual property is also conducted for each level of training by employee training system. Below is the amount corresponding to the number of employees, time, and time (expenses for training human resources) participating in Fujikura 's training and seminar in FY2015.

Types of lectures and seminars Number of participants attended
(people)
Total attendance time
(hour)
Investment amount*
(Thousand yen)
Intellectual property research lecture meeting 122 549 2,196
Essential training, selected training 176 2,128 8,510

*Unit price 4,000 yen / hour from Keidanren Questionnaire

Intellectual Property Strategy

Basic Policy on Intellectual Property

We actively protect the results obtained from research and development by acquiring intellectual property rights for patents, designs, etc. to ensure the superiority of our business and fully respect the intellectual property rights of third parties while doing business development. Meanwhile, regarding the unauthorized use of patents, design rights, trademark rights, etc. possessed by our Company, we take appropriate measures based on the law. We will exercise intellectual property rights to protect our brand value against imitation acts related to our products and services. In addition, we are working to raise awareness towards intellectual property through regular holding of intellectual property training according to the experience and proficiency level of all employees, reporting case examples of intellectual property activities within the company by the intellectual property research group, special lecture by external lecturers, etc.

2015 Medium-term intellectual property department plan

We have formulated the 2015 Midterm Intellectual Property Division plan in response to the Company's 2015 medium-term management plan in FY 2010, and have worked out the following vision and priority issues to achieve results.

1) Vision

Through intellectual property activities to ensure competitive advantage, the intellectual property department is relying more on business divisions and R & D departments and becomes a department that is essential for technology management.

2) Priority issues

  • Improve the quality of patents
  • Improvement of patent contribution
  • Improve brand value
  • Improve the expertise of IP staff

Intellectual property strategy according to business

1) Promotion of rights acquisition

We are promoting the realization of the ideal application model of domestic and foreign patents. Specifically, we constantly recognize relative intellectual property (quality and quantity) with competitors, aiming to create rights with high exclusivity.

2) Building a global patent network

In principle, we apply to Japan for patents filed in Japan, acquire patent rights as a family of business countries in line with our business strategy, acquire high-quality patent rights, utilize our own company, and raise the ratio of utilization by other companies . We have acquired a strong patent right that can be used for litigation in China and the United States, especially with high risk of litigation, by increasing the ratio of foreign patent applications.

3) Ensure superiority of our technology through strategic patent application

We regularly hold "IP (Intellectual Property) Subcommittee" for each strategic business unit (SBU) to establish an intellectual property strategy based on the business strategy to connect business issues and IP management, The R & D department, the intellectual property department together promote the visibility and strengthening activities of patent positions of the Company, and we strive to maintain or enhance the superiority of our business.

Increase incentives for inventions

In order to increase the intellectual capability of the company as a whole, we give incentives according to the quality of intellectual property to inventions and creators, and we are constructing and operating a mechanism that leads to improvement of motivation for inventions and creation.

Policy concerning acquisition / management of intellectual property, trade secret and technology leakage prevention

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.

Trade secret management, technology leak prevention

Based on the regulations concerning management of trade secrets, we manage it properly. Regarding the technology (know-how) of trade secret, in particular, we have established in-house regulations concerning confidential technology, and we carry out individual management according to the importance of confidential technology. Regarding secret technology of high importance that affects the project, measures are taken to prevent leakage in accordance with the contents of the confidential technology, and even in the unlikely event of leakage of confidential technology, relief of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law can be obtained As you manage. In addition, even if another company has acquired rights for the technology, we are taking action to obtain the right to use it so that we can implement it. We will periodically review the confidentiality technology and turn it into rights as necessary.

Intellectual property activity

Our Company’s Intellectual Property Activities

We believe that strengthening the organization of activities and maintaining and improving the quality of patents is extremely important in promoting intellectual property activities that contribute to our business. Regular meetings by members from the business department, R & D department and the intellectual property department are held regularly for each major business to confirm the progress of the intellectual property strategy and set forth future action plans. We also strengthen the structure of intellectual property activities by placing personnel in the R & D department who are concurrently working for the intellectual property department, enhancing collaboration between the two departments. In order to make it an intellectual property activity that contributes to the project, we believe that the creation of high-quality intellectual property rights such as patents that can withstand the exercise of the right is the basis of it, and we are trying to strengthen it. As an example, we have established a system where the inventor consults with the intellectual property official before an invention notification. This mechanism revitalizes counseling, identifying necessary information for discovering inventions and making it patentable, speeding up patent applications, and so on.

Risk management

We respect the intellectual property rights of third parties while fully developing business. Based on this policy, the research and development department and the intellectual property department together are investigating the relationship between intellectual property rights of other people such as patents and our products / technology. Specifically, we will introduce a system to regularly distribute domestic and international patent information on the development theme of the research and development department, oblige the R & D department to investigate the necessity of countermeasures, and investigate the intellectual property department In addition to assisting patent research, a plurality of attorneys who are enrolled are involved in the judgment of the genus of the technical scope of the product. In addition, external experts are requesting judgment as necessary. Meanwhile, regarding the unauthorized use of patents, design rights, trademark rights, etc. possessed by the Company, we take appropriate measures based on the law.

Training intellectual property staff

Regarding the training of intellectual property personnel, we are trying to improve necessary expertise by utilizing domestic and overseas intellectual property training and encouraging the acquisition of national qualifications on intellectual property.

Education of intellectual property

We set skill level of necessary intellectual property by hierarchy as well as engineer as well as clerical worker and we are doing intellectual property training for that. We are trying to improve skills in a wide range of fields by training and practicing such as discovering, searching, inventing four methods, contracting, judging infringement, and patent strategy.

Invention Regulations

“Invention handling regulations" that stipulate the handling of job inventions are stipulated as corporate regulations. We revise according to changes in the environment surrounding intellectual property such as patent law amendments and strive to maintain an appropriate system.

Number of patents owned and applications file

Number of Domestic Patent Ownership

We actively acquire patents with awareness for future business and the superiority of our current business. The number of domestic patent ownership in the past five years are increasing every year, and in the 2015 fiscal year, the number of domestic patents held was 2,597.

Number of Overseas Patent Ownership

Along with the globalization of businesses, the number of overseas patents held has increased year by year, and in the 2015 fiscal year, the number of foreign patents held was 1,395. In particular, the number of patents in the United States and China are increasing.

Number of domestic patent applications

The number of published national patent applications in the past five years is on a downward trend because we are promoting the conversion from quantity to quality. There are 419 cases published in FY2015.

Number of Foreign Patent Applications

Approximately 300 foreign applications are filed every year so that overseas business can be dominantly promoted. We are also promoting activities so that we can effectively use PCT applications and obtain sufficient rights in several countries.