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Hitachi High-Technologies GLOBAL

Intellectual Property Strategy

With the basic aim of promoting IP activities that contribute to the Hitachi High-Tech Group' s business development, the Intellectual Property Dept. formulates and implements our IP strategy in partnership with the business divisions, based on our R&D Roadmap. In addition to our core IP activities—patent acquisition, utilization, and clearance, we are reinforcing efforts to encourage new business creation and to support service solution business expansion. Specifically, we are engaging in IP evaluation and providing support from an IP perspective in the examination of business schemes in collaboration with external parties.

Patent Creation and Development Activities and Respecting IP

Based on our R&D strategy, we devise activity plans to help stimulate innovation and construct a patent portfolio to protect proprietary technology and secure IP rights over the results of development projects.
Furthermore, based on the patent portfolio that we have constructed, our basic policy is not to use the IP of other companies and not to allow other companies to use our IP. We seek to ensure that others respect our IP rights while respecting the IP rights of others.

Enhancing Professional Development and Ensuring an IP Incentive and Award Program

At Hitachi High-Tech, we encourage training to produce staff who have high-level professional skills and are able to respond to the globalization of business, in order to promote the enhancement of IP activities.
The Intellectual Property Dept. is a group of specialists, including 10 in-house patent attorneys and 2 PhD holders (total figures as of April 2018), and is working to improve the dependability of IP activities.
Moreover, we have a robust invention incentive program designed to encourage employees who work on the front lines of research and development to make inventions, as well as an IP award program we are revising according to business changes with the aim of further increasing the motivation of inventors.

Enhancing Overseas IP to Support the Globalization of Our Business

The Hitachi High-Tech Group generates the majority of its revenues from sales overseas, primarily in Asia. To adapt to such globalization in our business, we are strengthening our patent applications and acquisition of grants in the West and Asia, while also continuing our measures against counterfeit products, particularly in Asia. We are also working to improve cost efficiency. For instance, depending on business trends, we no longer automatically apply for Japanese patents, something that had been done as a matter of course until now. In FY2017, overseas applications accounted for about 64% of our total applications. In addition, we are responding to the shift in development to overseas group companies by providing support in matters such as drafting IP policy and securing IP rights.

IP Data
FY 2014 2015 2016 2017
Patent Applications 1,169 1,002 927 980
  Domestic 402 327 278 350
Overseas 767 675 649 630
Patents Owned 7,115 7,400 7,469 7,930
  Domestic 3,735 3,758 3,698 3,820
Overseas 3,380 3,642 3,771 4,110
  • * Data for each fiscal year is collated in May of the following fiscal year