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Konica Minolta receives Patent Office accolade

April 19, 2018

Konica Minolta, Inc. received the Commissioner of the Japan Patent Office Award in the FY2018 Intellectual Property Achievement Awards, held jointly by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Japan Patent Office.

Every year, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Japan Patent Office select individuals who have contributed to the development and dissemination of the intellectual property rights system and who have raised awareness of the system, and corporations which have most effectively taken advantage of the intellectual property rights system and contributed to its development, as winners of the Intellectual Property Achievement Awards.

Konica Minolta conducts its business activities with an awareness that intellectual property management forms one of the company’s three key overarching strategies, together with its business strategy and technology strategy. According to the OEM, the company is striving to reinforce efforts throughout the organisation to create and make better use of intellectual property rights in its fields of business, including IoT and bio-healthcare which are becoming increasingly important.

Konica Minolta states that it is committed to engaging in intellectual property rights activities on a global basis to create new businesses, thus offering new value and contributing to the evolution of society.

At Konica Minolta, the Intellectual Property Division provides centralised supervision over the company’s intellectual property strategies as well as the acquisition and use of intellectual property rights. The division holds regular meetings to discuss issues relating to the intellectual property strategies with the head of each business unit.

Konica Minolta has clearly defined operational standards for personnel in three functions: liaison personnel responsible for formulating intellectual property strategies and discovering inventions by working closely with R&D personnel; personnel responsible for the process from patent application to acquisition of intellectual property rights; and personnel responsible for dealing with issues relating to external patents and negotiating with other companies. In so doing, the company avoids variation in performance among individuals and thus maintains and enhances the quality of its operations.

By means of patents, Konica Minolta protects its core technologies in the fields of materials, optics, nano-fabrication and imaging, which the company has accumulated through the development and manufacture of cameras and photo films. The company is implementing intellectual property strategies established for respective business sectors and creating new products and businesses by leveraging these core technologies.

Konica Minolta has entered the bio-healthcare business by utilising its newly developed medical technologies, and has applied for hundreds of patents in Japan and the U.S. to build a patent network for protecting the intellectual property rights for these technologies. The company involves its Intellectual Property Division from an early stage when considering the acquisition of foreign companies to create synergies with its technologies. By combining its technologies with those of acquired companies, Konica Minolta aims to obtain intellectual property rights to protect its core technologies, which are indispensable for its operation in the field of precision medicine, while developing its business overseas.

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