Nichia's Intellectual Property

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The results of Nichia's creative efforts of originality are reflected in the number of patents Nichia has obtained, which is now around 7,000.

Article 1 of the Japanese Patent Act states, “The purpose of this Act is to encourage inventions through promoting the protection and utilization of inventions, and thereby contribute to the development of industry.” Nichia also protects the R&D achievement and is engaged in the acquisition and use of intellectual property rights positively in order to contribute to the development of its business. Nichia holds around 7,000 globally.

Nichia's Approach to Intellectual Property

1. Intellectual property is not a product

  • Intellectual property rights only have value when used for business activities
  • The revenue from intellectual property rights alone is not important, and intellectual property itself should not be a subject of trading.
  • Nichia utilizes the intellectual property rights system in order to differentiate Nichia from other companies making use of new technologies that Nichia has created, and to prevent illegal imitation.

2. A company cannot survive on great intellectual property alone.

  • A manufacturer cannot survive unless customers choose its products.
  • The purpose of research and development is to create competitive products, not to create intellectual property.

3. “Technological capability” and “intellectual property” rights are not always the same.

  • The root and source of a product's competitiveness in the market is “technological capability”.
  • “Intellectual property” is a product of the legal system; therefore, the respective values of “technological capability” and intellectual property rights are not always the same.
  • The root and source of “technological capability” consists of workplace effort, originality, and ingenuity that exist before the patents are applied for (and hence become public).
  • Intellectual property is merely one of the “instruments” for quantifying technological capability.

4. Technological capability is at the heart of Nichia’s market competitiveness. Nichia makes use of intellectual property rights in order to protect the results of its research and development and to ensure fair competition in market.

  • In order to sustain and expand Nichia's business, technologies for which patents are not sought (and hence not disclosed) are also important.
  • Nichia will take decisive measures against unlawful infringements.
  • Nichia is pro-active in entering into cross-licensing agreements with other companies where technologies are mutually complementary.