We recognize that intellectual property rights constitute a valuable company asset. We thus strive to both protect these rights and use them effectively. Our Group Compliance Guidelines state that we will respect other companies' intellectual property rights and ensure that our inventions do not infringe on these companies. Using the guidelines, we formulated more detailed points in our Compliance Action Guidelines, which state that we will acquire patents and avoid infringement by having the person in charge of R&D at Daikin be the person responsible for a patent and having the researcher/developer understand that he/she is the sole developer of the product or invention.
To actively support researchers/developers, the Legal Affairs, Compliance, and Intellectual Property Center assigns an intellectual property manager in each division.
The intellectual property managers keep in contact with each other, and manage the variety of intellectual property matters that come up daily (filing/acquisition of rights, reduction of risk of infringement upon and infringement by other companies, etc.). They also educate employees at various levels on intellectual property, reward Daikin patent awardees, form patent networks with researchers/developers to foster strategic patent applications, and strengthen global intellectual property survey functions.
In new product and new technology development, part of the design review process involves verifying that these products and technologies do not infringe on existing patents. In collaborations with other companies, confidential technologies and know-how disclosed to the other party is designated as such and kept out of reach.
There is an increasing number of patent applications in China, and we are strengthening intellectual property rights protection systems at bases in China and other countries.
In fiscal 2011, to make use of patents not acquired by Daikin, we licensed patents from companies in India and other countries. In our chemicals divisions, we are preparing to be ready for patent infringement lawsuits launched by other companies.
We will continue to conduct precise surveys so that we can not only acquire worldwide patents for successful R&D but also ensure that we avoid inadvertently infringing on the intellectual property of other companies.