The reason that I was intent on working in the Intellectual Property Department was that my senior in college at the lab had applied for joint patent with a company. I felt that companies would apply for joint patents because they acknowledge our research would lead to business; and that if our research were used in the commercialization of new products, it would make consumer’s lives more comfortable and convenient.
These thoughts led me to this department so that I can help increase the motivation of R&D through applications for patents and the acquisition of rights for inventions developed by researchers.
Since joining the company, the work I have been engaged in includes new patent applications, acquisition of rights, and researches on patent applications submitted by other companies. What gives me the greatest satisfaction is new patent applications. Application work is to verbalize the concept of an invention and determine the scope of rights. There are many things to be discussed, including how we can express the invention in a way that maximizes the scope of rights, and how we can set the scope of the rights in such a way as to be effective in restraining competitors. When we are consulted by researchers about the patent applications, we try to understand the inventions from a wide range of aspects. When we are able to find the most appropriate way to express the invention for the scope of the rights that we intend to acquire, we feel great satisfaction at being able to help them to get better rights.
In my work, I notice that there are some researchers who find IP issues challenging. Once a researcher feels that it is hard to deal with intellectual property rights, it interferes with the patent application procedures. For this reason, I want to teach researchers about the patent system, and the intention of patent examiners and outside patent attorneys in an easy-to-understand manner to motivate them to submit patent applications.
I am mainly in charge of patent applications for home-use air conditioners. I categorize new technologies developed during the process of product development as “inventions” and take care of all the procedures, from patent application to registration. While undertaking these procedures, I not only verbalize the technologies developed by the inventor, but I also seek the main points of the technologies to reestablish the content as an invention. It is also important for me to organize the explanation in a way that the inventor agrees with; therefore, I maintain close communication with the inventors.
In the process of patent application, I am satisfied with my work when inventors become confident in their ideas and abilities with regard to their inventions. Inventors tend to underestimate their own ability. However, looking into the inventions they have proposed, I often find that they are more fundamentally essential to the developed products than they had thought. If the scope of the rights is broader, the invention is also highly regarded inside the company. This leads to increased confidence and motivation to pursue new inventions. This is a positive cycle. When I hear inventors say, “I’m motivated to apply for more patents,” I can feel that I have contributed not only to the company, but also to the inventor, which increases my satisfaction.
I would like to strengthen collaboration between the Development Team and IP Group to increase patent applications focusing on the next-generation technological trends.
After working on the development of commercial-use air conditioners, I was transferred to the Intellectual Property Group at the head office. I am currently in charge of global intellectual property management, research and analyses.
In global intellectual property management, we create Group-wide IP policies, and develop IP rules and support patent application and the handling of patent issues with other companies for overseas bases to help them to engage independently in their own IP activities.
In intellectual property research and analyses, we conduct IP landscape analyses on potential business fields using patent and non-patent information, and make proposals for IP strategies to the heads of the business operations departments.
I get great satisfaction from working with the top management and IP staff at oversea bases on future IP strategies through discussions considering the impact on business. I find it highly enjoyable and rewarding to consider what we can do to promote business strategies free of IP issues at overseas bases, have discussions with team members, and seek solutions in cooperation with overseas lawyers.
For IP research and analyses, since the results of analyses may have a significant influence on our business, I feel a great deal of responsibility. It is also strategic and interesting to consider social trends, predict future movements of competitors based on patent analyses in the team, and make decisions about our future tactics. When we make strategy proposals based on the results of analyses to the management of individual departments, I truly feel that I am contributing to the company’s business growth and am very satisfied.
In cooperation with overseas bases, I continue to strengthen IP research and analyses on a global scale. I would also like to work on projects that no one has experienced so that I can contribute to the sophistication of Daikin’s intellectual properties.
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