Epson: IPR, the Catalyst for Enterprise Innovations

"IPR is a catalyst for enterprise innovations," Kamiyanagi Masashi, Managing Executive Officer of Intellectual Property Division of Japan Seiko Epson Corporation (Epson), in an interview with our reporter said that respecting IPR system and making good use of IPR rules are not only Epson's consistent development objective but also the key of Epson's success.

Wisely using the strategy

According to Kamiyanagi Masashi, Epson creates a new concept of IPR innovation cycle operated by IPR department and R&D department, based on a mode of "research and development, market, protection, creation". In this system, Epson makes careful analysis of the IPR information, sets up an effective patent guard screen to enhance capability of core technology and keeps developing and researching new products.

Epson also has the maturity experience in patent licensing strategy. The patent licensing accounts for a tiny amount of Epson's revenue. Epson actively seeks to make money by licensing its patents only under the circumstances that Epson abdicates that area which no longer to be invested. "We never share our core technologies with independent IPR to other entertprises." said Kamiyanagi Masashi, emphatically.

Epson's Intellectual Property Division now employs more than 350 people, divided into four parts which are patent technology department, patent analyzing department, patent licensing department and the management department. Patent technology department accouts for the biggest part of the manpower whose patent engineers collect and sort data before filing a patent application. The four departments form an outstanding and efficient team.

In the incentive mechanism aspect, Epson will praise and reward inventors throughout the proceedings of patent filling, patent granted, patent transform and commercialized and patent licensing.This mechanism not only stimulates inventor's creativity but also cultivates a better innovative climate in Epson.

Optimistic about the development of China

As one of the world's most important markets, China became the focus of Epson 's attention. The nationwide campaign on combating IPR violations and on the production and distribution of fake and shoddy products completed successfully which was regarded as a showcase of the Chinese government's consistent stance and firm determination to protect IPR. However, protecting IPRs is a comlicated and arduous task, and the task cannot be accomplished at one stroke. China should explore and establish a long-lasting mechanism to protect IPRs and combat counterfeiting.

In 2011, Japanese firms filed a total of 33,554 patent applicaions. Japanese enterprises also exceeded 10% above continuously in recent years.

(China IP News)