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Sustainability > Corporate Governance > Respect for Intellectual Property Rights

Corporate Governance

Respect for Intellectual Property Rights

Respect for Intellectual Property Rights

Acquire Intellectual Property Rights While Respecting That of Other Companies As Well

Daikin Industries, Ltd. understands that intellectual property rights constitute a valuable company asset. We thus strive to both protect these rights and use them effectively. Our Group Conduct Guidelines state that we will respect other companies' intellectual property rights and ensure that our inventions do not infringe on these rights. 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.

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.

Intellectual Property Manager in Research Department

To actively support researchers/developers, the legal department 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 and reward Daikin patent awardees. And to ensure strategic implementation of intellectual property activities, they form patent networks with researchers/developers and strengthen global intellectual property survey functions.

Moreover, with the globalization of our R&D bases, we are appointing intellectual property managers at each of these bases.

We will continue to strive to better manage our intellectual property rights by acquiring and using a greater number of patents and higher quality patents.

Strengthening the Intellectual Property Rights System in Line with Globalization of Business and R&D Bases

We are also strengthening our intellectual property rights systems at our overseas R&D bases. At Daikin Industries, Ltd. and at overseas group R&D bases, starting with those of our Group companies in China, we are striving to obtain various intellectual property rights.

China has overtaken the U.S. as the country with the most patent applications. It also has more intellectual property court cases than the U.S. Against this background, the Daikin Group is actively acquiring intellectual property rights in China, and is stepping up applications for patents, utility models, devices, and trademarks. In emerging countries like India and Brazil, and in emerging countries in southeast Asia, we are stepping up device applications as a way to effectively prevent product copying and boost patent applications.

In fiscal 2015, we held classroom and on-the-job training for intellectual property managers and developers at overseas R&D bases. At the on-the-job training, participants dug up inventions that Daikin Industries, Ltd. has made over the years, and studied the changing ways available to prevent other companies from infringing on Daikin’s patents.

As in fiscal 2014, we again held our global intellectual property conference (for the second time), where participants strengthened bonds by exchanging information on what they are doing at their particular bases.

In fiscal 2016, we intend to conduct systematic efforts to have overseas R&D bases gain more autonomy over their own intellectual property duties.

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Encouraging Employees to Create Intellectual Property

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Scientific Technology Transfer

Worldwide Free Access to Patents for Equipment Using Next-Generation Refrigerant

Daikin Industries, Ltd. has been offering free access to a cumulative total of 93 basic patents necessary for companies to develop and commercialize air conditioners that use HFC-32 refrigerant. The company has been doing this in emerging countries since September 2011 and worldwide including industrialized countries since September 2015. The aim is to promote the use of HFC-32 worldwide.

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