Intellectual Property Department

Intellectual Property Department - Creating, Protecting and Using Intellectual Property

With guidance from its government, Japan is seeking to establish itself as second to none in the protection of intellectual property. The country has established legal protections, implemented a number of measures to improve the security of intellectual property(*1), and is rapidly raising awareness of intellectual property issues in private industry, universities, and other sectors. Kuraray has made respect of intellectual property a fundamental principle. Since fiscal 2003, Kuraray's Intellectual Property Department has been engaged in the creation, protection, and use of intellectual property. To assist Kuraray and the Kuraray Group to pursue business and R&D in accordance with their three-in-one management strategy, the Intellectual Property Department is strengthening its ability to support the three elements of that strategy: the business, R&D, and asset strategies (See Figure 1).

Specifically, the Department studies the strengths and weaknesses of both Kuraray and external technology from patent search forward, proposes business strategies while seeking to minimize business risk, and monitors the patent portfolio (PPF)(*2) and patent clearance (PC)(*3) for the entire company.

As one measure to strengthen its infrastructure for invention, Kuraray has established and is expanding a patent indemnity and incentive award system to increase incentives for researchers to make new discoveries.

  • *1 Intangible inventions, ideas, concepts, and goodwill protected under patent laws, the Utility Model Law, the Trademark Law, the Design Law, or copyright laws.
  • *2 Compare and analyze the patent portfolios of Kuraray and other firms with regard to specified fields and products, for the purposes of:
    • (1) Evaluating the technological characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses of intellectual property.
    • (2) Proposing various strategies (establishing R&D themes, evaluating commercialization potential, developing business, planning for patent applications.
  • *3
    • (1) Clarifying matters pertaining to patent rights for second-party technology that Kuraray plans to use, as well as evaluating business and R&D methodology.
    • (2) Reducing commercialization risks by proposing and implementing measures to deal with problems in obtaining patent license agreements.

Figure 1. Kuraray's three-in-one business, R&D, and asset strategy