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Intellectual Property

The Importance of Intellectual Property

Protecting and respecting intellectual property is part of the Code of Conduct in the Fujitsu Way, which articulates the philosophy of the Fujitsu Group and the core values and principles guiding the actions of each of its employees. Accordingly, every employee recognizes intellectual property as a key corporate asset supporting business activities. Moreover, Fujitsu employees are acutely aware of the role that technologies backed by intellectual property play in enabling customers to rely with confidence on the products and services we deliver.

Intellectual Property Strategy

We are promoting an intellectual property strategy closely integrated with our business and R&D strategies. Each business unit and R&D division is individually responsible for analyzing the intellectual property assets owned by Fujitsu and other companies in their respective fields. Based on this analysis, they formulate and implement intellectual property strategies.

Linking Business and R&D Divisions

Schema: Linkage between Intellectual Property Unit and Business and R&D Divisions

Group-wide Initiatives

We are developing a framework to strengthen Group-wide intellectual property activities to enable the entire Group to leverage our intellectual property assets. Some issues, such as the need for international standards, require coordinated action among the global bases in the Group. Here, we use regular meetings among Group companies to share information as well as promote specific measures. In this way, we foster a unified approach to intellectual property activities.

1. Patent Rights

Patent rights support technological innovation. Recognizing these rights as an important corporate asset, we are assembling a global patent portfolio centered on patents in Japan.
We ensure that the acquisition, maintenance and utilization of patents are carried out in keeping with the Fujitsu Group's global business development strategy. We therefore acquire, maintain, and utilize the patents we need in the locations (countries) where they are needed, covering development and production bases as well as our sales bases. Representative offices have been established in the US and China so that local research or inventions at development bases can be securely protected.
For obtaining patents in the US, Fujitsu has a framework not only for yielding inventions but for handling the entire adjudication process to promote efficient acquisition of high-quality patents.

FMV Raku-Raku PC (announced November 6, 2008)

  1. Cross-functional approach to identifying customer needs and commercializing products
    Marketing and intellectual property divisions teamed up with the development division to extensively explore ways to develop a user-friendly, simple, and dependable PC. The involvement of the intellectual property division from the development stages ensured that no patents or other intellectual properties were inadvertently compromised.
  2. Sample of intellectual properties
    
				Patent rights: Approximately 20 patent applications have been filed in and outside Japan, centered on technologies that simplify user input and search functions.
    Trademark rights:"Raku-Raku PC"

2. Exercising Patent Rights

We conclude cross-licensing agreements with prominent firms worldwide aimed at preserving a high degree of business latitude. This policy of opening our wide range of basic technology research for potential use in the business activities and technologies of other firms applies even in fields in which Fujitsu does not directly conduct operations. On a for-fee basis, we make available basic technologies when we believe this will foster broader use of our technology compared with commercializing it on our own. We refer to this as"technology marketing." An example of products commercialized by a licensee are an antibacterial mask and antibacterial stationery created through application of titanium apatite technology developed jointly by Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. and the University of Tokyo. This demonstrates how the use of Fujitsu technology in fields outside our main business areas can stimulate the creation of new value.

[Acquisition of an Influential Patent]

Example of US Patent Relating to a Card Type Wireless Device (Wireless LAN)

  1. Reissued US patent number: Re. 36,769 (July 11, 2000)
  2. Title of the invention:"CARD TYPE INPUT/OUTPUT INTERFACE DEVICE AND ELECTRONIC DEVICE USING THE SAME"
  3. Summary: Card-type wireless device for sending and receiving data that can be easily inserted into a slot on a PC or other electronic device, thus encouraging widespread use.
  4. Since the filing of this US patent application in 1992, Fujitsu has persisted through the US patent process to refine the claims of this patent application. This work helped fix the scope of the patent rights, which led to patent issuance on July 11, 2000.

3. Respecting Third Parties' Rights

The impact of infringing upon the rights of third parties goes beyond having to pay significant compensation. In the worst case, it could have a major economic impact on our company due to the loss of business opportunities. In addition, it could prevent us from providing products and services, thereby severely inconveniencing our customers. We are fostering a culture at Fujitsu that respects the patent rights of other companies, as well as creating an environment that allows all our engineers to utilize the ATMS/IR.net system* to efficiently and effectively research patents held by other companies.

* An ASP-based service which searches laid-open patent applications and prosecution history data provided by the Japan Patent Office.

Our Global Patent Portfolio

Bar chart is showing the number of patents held in each region; Europe, Japan, Asia/Oceania and North America.  From 2007 to 2009, the number of patents in each region had not had a big change except Asia/Oceania.  Europe is around 5,000.  Japan is around 13,000.  North America is around 12,500.  Only Asia/Oceania is increasing from around 4,000 to 5,500.

Fujitsu Patents by Business Segment

Circular chart as of March 31, 2009: Total 92,800 patents. Technology 27%, Ubiquitous products 13%, Device 16%, R&D and Corporate 44%.

Ranking of Patents Issued in Japan in 2008: Fujitsu Limited is 12th place with 2,439 patents.

Source: Fujitsu survey based on Japan Patent Office data (Number of issued patents)

Ranking of Patents Issued in US in 2008: Fujitsu Limited is 8th place with 1,494 patents.

Source: IFI CLAIMS Patent Services (Number of issued patents)