Intellectual Property Initiatives

Toshiba Group believes that proper management and utilization of intellectual properties is essential to enhance corporate value. 
Toshiba Group aims to enhance corporate value by formulating intellectual property strategies from various perspectives including collaborative creation with business partners and utilization of intellectual properties, overviewing the entire business scheme, and by strengthening our intellectual property capabilities through such measures as analyzing intellectual property information, developing intellectual property based on the intellectual property strategies, and optimizing our intellectual property portfolio in consideration of the competition.

FY2021 Achievements

  • Selected as Clarivate Top 100 Global Innovators 2022 (selected for the 11th consecutive year) and Top 100 Best Protected Global Brands 2021
  • FY2021 National Commendation for Invention - Invention Prize
  • Held Toshiba Group Intellectual Property Conference 2021; Awards presentations for 10 particularly outstanding inventions, accompanied by online special lectures, webinars, and panel discussions.

Intellectual Property Policy and Strategy

Intellectual Property Policy

Toshiba Group’s basic policy on intellectual property rights is to comply with laws and regulations associated with intellectual property rights, to protect the results of intellectual activities with intellectual property rights, make extensive use of those results, and to respect the legitimate intellectual property rights of third parties. This policy is stipulated in the Standards of Conduct for Toshiba Group.
We will be engaged in activities designed to strengthen the intellectual property abilities and strategic concept planning that support our strong lineup of technologies and products, and will increase the number of opportunities available for us to proactively leverage our intellectual properties to resolve social issues, helping maximize our corporate value.

Intellectual Property Policy

1.Toshiba Group Corporate Policy
Toshiba Group Companies shall:

1. comply with all applicable laws and regulations associated with patent law, copyright law and other intellectual property rights (Note) laws; and

2. protect the results of intellectual activities with intellectual property rights, make extensive use of those rights, and respect the legitimate intellectual property rights of third parties.

2.SOC for Toshiba Group Directors and Employees
Directors and Employees shall:

1. proactively acquire and utilize intellectual property rights in order to strengthen business competitiveness;

2. understand and observe company rules providing that intellectual property rights in any invention, utility model, design for or actual work, such as mask work (i.e., the layout of an integrated circuit chip), computer program or digital content, that is determined to have been made by anyone during the period of his or her services for or employment by a Toshiba Group Company, and the ability to apply for such rights, belong to the Toshiba Group Company;

3. adequately maintain intellectual property rights and take appropriate measures against infringement of these rights by a third party; and

4. respect and take due care of the legitimate intellectual property rights of third parties.

Herein, "intellectual property rights" means patent rights, utility model rights, design patent rights, trademarks, copyrights, mask work rights, trade secrets, and any other such rights.

Intellectual Property Strategy

Toshiba Group implements an intellectual property strategy with the aim of increasing opportunities for finding solutions to social issues and maximizing our corporate value.
In the service domain such as Energy x Digital or Infrastructure x Digital, it is important that we formulate intellectual property strategies that can increase opportunities for finding solutions to social problems and achieving success in our business. Such strategies must take into account not only the service domain but the entire business, including the cyber and physical domains. It is for this reason that Toshiba Group has assumed as part of its concentrated efforts to formulate intellectual property strategies from various perspectives including collaborative creation with business partners and utilization of intellectual properties, overviewing the entire business scheme.
To perform our intellectual property strategy, it is essential that we manage our intellectual property items (patents, data, know-how, etc.). Given the importance of ensuring that confidential information is kept secret so as to prevent handled data and know-how from being leaked, particularly in the cyber domain, we have strengthened the ways in which we utilize and protect data, and are committed to ensuring appropriate management of the Company’s know-how as confidential information.
Furthermore, as the base of intellectual property strategy, the intellectual property is essential to supports our strong technology and products, particularly in the physical domain. For this reason, we are focusing on strengthening our intellectual property portfolio by creating intellectual properties based on intellectual property information analysis and our strategy, optimizing our intellectual property portfolio in consideration of competitors, and having free to operate throughout patent clearance from other companies.

Toshiba Group’s intellectual property strategy

Reflecting our global expansion, more than half of our patent applications are filed with foreign countries, particularly in the United States and China. We select and file for patent items in each business domain so that we can create an optimal portfolio based on our intellectual property strategy. The number of patent applications we have made this past three years is as detailed below:

Number and Breakdown of Patents Filed (from April 2019 to March 2021)

Each year, we evaluate all of our registered patents owned, and create an optimal portfolio based on such evaluation result for each business domain.

Number and Breakdown of Patents Owned (as of March 2022)

Evaluation by External Parties

Selected as Clarivate Top 100 Global Innovators™ 2022 and Top 100 Best Protected Global Brands 2021

Clarivate, a British analytics company, has selected Toshiba for 11 years running as one of the Clarivate Top 100 Global Innovators, a list of the best 100 innovative companies and institutions around the world, based on Clarivate’s patent data analyses. Clarivate also selected TOSHIBA as one of its newly announced Top 100 Best Protected Global Brands, an award for the world’s strongest and most protected brands based on analyses of trademarks, legal precedents, domain protection, etc.

Winner of FY2021 National Commendation for Invention - Invention Prize
Invention of technology for treating contaminated waste water from nuclear power plants (Patent No. 6158014)

The invention, related to an adsorbent developed to remove radionuclides from contaminated water discharged from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, won the 2021 National Commendation for Invention – Invention Prize.
It allows for simultaneous and high-adsorbent performance removal of radioactive cesium (Cs) and radioactive strontium (Sr) from within the contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. This invention has been realized by achieving improved adsorption performance through crystallization control and practical strength through granulation control. The adsorbent boasts high-adsorbent performance and can be processed with fewer adsorption towers than if using conventional products. The invention minimizes the amount of radioactive waste generated and helps contribute to a reduced environmental load.

Promotion Structure of Intellectual Property Strategy

The organizational structure of the Intellectual Property Division is composed of the corporate staff division’s Intellectual Property Office, and the intellectual property divisions at our individual laboratories and key Group companies. The corporate staff division’s Intellectual Property Office is responsible for, related to intellectual property across Toshiba Group, formulating and promoting strategy and measures, handling contracts and disputes, managing patent information and deals with matters related to intellectual property right laws, such as the Copyright Law. Meanwhile, the intellectual property divisions of research laboratories and Group companies formulate intellectual property strategies in their respective development and business domains and work to build and utilize an optimal intellectual property portfolio. We have intellectual property officers located in both the United States and China to help promote out intellectual property strategy globally.
With regard to management resource allocation, including investment in intellectual property, and the execution of strategies relating to our business portfolio, each of our executive officers report to the Board of Directors on the status of their respective initiatives, whereupon they receive supervision and advice.

Toshiba Group Intellectual Property Management Structure

Evaluation of Intellectual Property Rights

In order to create an optimal portfolio for its businesses, each year, Toshiba Group extracts all of its existing patents and design patents that have been registered, evaluates all of the respective rights, and determines whether or not it is necessary to maintain those rights. Any registered patents and design patents that have no prospect of their rights being utilized or for which there is less value in continuing to hold be abandoned, with resources reallocated to acquiring or maintaining rights in other key domains.
Further, the results of such rights evaluations shall be used to remunerate the inventors and creators responsible for outstanding inventions so as to provide an incentive for the creation of new inventions and designs.

Education on Intellectual Property

Toshiba Group provides its employees in Japan with e-learning type training each year for the purpose of refreshing their awareness of the Standards of Conduct regarding intellectual property rights and, primarily, for alerting them to copyright issues. The participation rate in FY2021 was 99.4%.
Newly hired employees are provided with general training on intellectual property rights as part of the Corporate Entry Program (CEP), which is followed by level-specific education/training programs in line with each business division.
We have established a basic training program for intellectual property officers with the education covering areas such as knowledge-acquisition of both domestic and overseas intellectual property rights, preparation of patent specification documents, practical training with office action, and on-the-job training, so that they will be able to put their training into practice in two years.
In addition, we provide education at our overseas subsidiaries that is appropriate for each region. For example, our Chinese subsidiaries provide copyright training on the proper use of software, and our U.S. subsidiaries provide intellectual property training targeting both newly hired and existing employees.

Toshiba Group Intellectual Property Conference

Toshiba Group holds the Toshiba Group Intellectual Property Conference each year, where it awards particularly outstanding inventions with “Excellent Invention Award”.
In FY2021, 6 Business Contribution Prizes were granted to commemorate inventions that had made significant contributions to the Company’s business, and 4 Future Value Creation Prizes in commemoration of inventions which we expect will contribute to business or provide value to society in future. Award winners were announced online as per last year. The final stage of the convention also featured a special lecture from a guest lecturer and a webinar and panel discussion hosted by an in-house intellectual property rights expert themed around the topic of how intellectual properties extend across multiple sectors.
Moving forward, we will continue to provide an environment that facilitates employees to create inventions, and will strive to improve employees’ motivation for invention.

Protection of Toshiba Brand

The Toshiba brand symbolizes the value of Toshiba Group as a corporation, and the value of the products or services that we offer. In order to ensure the protection of the Toshiba brand, we manage trademark rights and remove counterfeit products.
Failure to take action against counterfeits of Toshiba products would pose not only the risk of damage to Toshiba's brand value and public confidence, but also the risk of purchasing counterfeit products that do not meet the quality expectations of customers who mistake them for genuine products, as well as an increased risk of an accident occurring. For this reason, we strive to eradicate counterfeit products, collaborating with domestic and overseas anti-counterfeit organizations, and are actively appealing to local bodies such as government agencies for more stringent control.

Trends in Incidents of Counterfeit Products up to FY2021

Breakdown of Incidents of Counterfeit Products by Country and Region in FY2021

Participation in External Organizations and Initiatives

Participation in WIPO GREEN

In order to contribute to global environmental conservation through the utilization of patents and other intellectual properties, Toshiba has registered environmental technology-related patent rights with WIPO GREEN, a platform operated by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to promote global transfer of environmental technology. Toshiba will continue working through this initiative to roll out environment-related technologies and intellectual properties worldwide, thus helping to resolve climate change and other environment-related social issues and contributing to the fulfillment of the SDGs.

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