Intellectual Property Strategy
Intellectual Property the Key to Ambidextrous Management
The business environment has changed dramatically in recent years. To survive in a fiercely competitive international environment, AGC will need to update its business portfolio. We are working toward the realization of Vision 2030 through “ambidextrous” management combining core businesses that provide steady income streams with strategic business initiatives focused toward rapid growth.
The task of the Intellectual Property Division is to build a strategic intellectual property portfolio as the basis for ambidextrous management. We are approaching this task from a company-wide perspective as staff of the Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
Number of inventions (2021)
Number of patents held (2021)
We created the Award System for Inventors to protect the results of our research and development efforts while also encouraging the creation of intellectual property with the potential to contribute to our business activities now and in the future.
While respecting third parties’ intellectual property, we will continue to protect and utilize our own intellectual property from a global perspective.
Award System for Inventors
AGC introduced the Award System for Inventors to provide incentives for researchers to work on inventions that contribute significantly to our lead over our competitors and result in the granting of patents. Under this system, inventors receive awards when patent applications are filed and when patents are registered. The amount of the award paid when a patent is registered is determined by AGC using its own criteria, including the novelty and originality of the invention, and its impact in terms of our lead over our competitors.
The current system was introduced in 2018. Under the previous system, inventors received awards based on the contribution to business profit if AGC worked with the patented inventions. As a result, most of the awards were paid to a small minority of inventors of technologies relating to highly profitable products. The new system has significantly expanded the scope of awards, increased the percentage of inventors who receive awards, and shortened the lead time between the creation of an invention and the payment of the award.
We continued to administer the old system after 2018 for patent applications filed up to 2017. In 2020 the old system was discontinued with the agreement of inventors. Following transitional steps, it was integrated with the new system during 2021.
Managing Intellectual Property Risks
In collaboration with related units, such as the Legal Division and business divisions, the Intellectual Property Division works to address and mitigate intellectual property risks.
|Intellectual Property Risk Countermeasures||As part of our commitment to respect for the intellectual property of third parties, we carefully search and check patent information to confirm that none of our products violate the intellectual property rights of other parties. We also take steps, including in-house training programs, to ensure appropriate handling of copyrights.|
|Countermeasures against Counterfeit Products||We address the problem of counterfeit AGC products in overseas markets by providing information to the relevant authorities, and by monitoring market activities.|
External Awards Received
AGC was selected for inclusion in the Clarivate “Top 100 Global Innovators” list for 2022*. The list is compiled by the British company Clarivate, which is one of the world’s leading information service providers. It uses its patent data base to select the world’s most innovative companies and research institutes. AGC has been included in the list a total of seven times, including all of the past five years.
- Clarivate uses patent data to select companies and research institutes for inclusion in its annual “Top 100 Global Innovators”. The top 100 are selected from a long list of organizations that have filed at least 500 patent applications since 2000 and obtained at least 100 patents over the past five years. The top 100 are selected using a combination of indicators, including the percentage of international inventions, the level of influence, the success rate, global impact, and the breadth of fields covered.
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