Fujikura Ltd.

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Intellectual Property

Respecting and 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 Fujikura’s products and technologies and third party industrial 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. Moreover, we created a set of guidelines on copyrights and holding seminars 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 Property

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. We pursued intellectual property activities as an integral part of the business strategy up to FY2020 under this basic strategy, and have focused on the following key issues.

Intellectual Property Strategy According to Business

Activities to Improve Brand Value

The Fujikura Group is working to enhance brand value. The brand logo is used by more than 70 manufacturing companies and sales companies in Japan and overseas, as well as by overseas agents to gain brand recognition overseas.
Fujikura completed the process of registering the logo as our trademark for all the countries and regions in which we operate by 2020. In 2020, the logo was registered in the Republic of Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, the Principality of Andorra, Ecuador, Ethiopia, the Republic of Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, the Republic of San Marino, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Brazil, and Malawi. We are using the registered trademark rights to monitor unauthorized use on e-commerce sites worldwide and delete inappropriate pages. Unauthorized and fraudulent use of the brand logo on the Internet are on the rise year by year. The Fujikura Group will continue to rigorously 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. This is especially important when securing an invention as a trade secret without applying for a patent. We manage confidentiality according to the importance of the trade secret based on internal regulations. Highly important information that affects the business is managed as a trade secret so that relief under the Unfair Competition Prevention Act can be obtained.
Moreover, if another company independently develops and acquires a patent for technology managed as a trade secret, we also take action to obtain prior use rights so that we can continue to implement them.The Fujikura Group continued to provide consultation and information on trade secrets internally in FY2020. We also enriched the content on trade secrets as an educational opportunity for employees and worked to increase awareness among Group employees.

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. We view the creation of high quality patent and other intellectual property rights as fundamental to intellectual property activities that contribute to our business. We work to strengthen these rights to ensure that they hold firm when exercising rights in line with the business strategy. In FY2020, Fujikura specified areas of technology to prioritize in strengthening rights, and established a structure for the Intellectual Property Division to systematically support formulation of an intellectual property strategy that is aligned with the business strategy.

Patent Ownership and Patents Pending

Patents Owned in Japan

The number of patents we hold has trended just under 3,000 patents over the past several years, and we held 2,840 patents in FY2020.

Patents Owned Overseas

The number of patents held outside of Japan has trended at just under 2,000 patents over the past few years as we have globalized our business. In FY2020, we held 1,867 patents. The U.S. Europe, and China account for 80% of our patents.

Patents Pending in Japan

The number of Fujikura patents pending has declined over the past several years to 308 in FY2020. While patents pending declined in Japan, patents pending outside of Japan increased.

The global application rate, which indicates the ratio of overseas patent applications based on domestic applications in each fiscal year, is trending around 40%.