Toppan sees intellectual property (IP) as a core source of competitiveness in business. The IP strategy executed by Toppan seeks to secure competitive advantages in markets.
Developing its IP strategy in line with the business and R&D plans of the Group, Toppan continues to link its IP activities more closely with R&D and market-oriented activities and to acquire intellectual property rights for the products and services generated from those activities. Accelerated IP activities will enhance IP capabilities that bolster the business portfolio transformation and business management of the Group.
Intellectual Property Structure
Toppan has launched a project to enhance IP by integrating business, R&D, and IP strategies across the Group. Project participants discussed the ideal structure for the future and concluded that the IP function must be strengthened, leading to the establishment of an Intellectual Property Division spun out from the Legal Affairs & Intellectual Property Division in April 2022. Meanwhile, IP strategy departments newly set up in the business divisions are coordinating with the strategy departments in the Intellectual Property Division to build the foundation for advancing IP initiatives at Toppan.
IP and technical managers from the business divisions direct the IP enhancement project to comprehensively take charge of activities focused on IP issues throughout the Group.
Intellectual Property Strategy
Toppan aims to establish a framework that promotes the formulation and implementation of a customized IP strategy in line with the Group’s business plan in every division. Following are the measures so far taken to form this framework: IP analysis to determine the direction of technology development based on hypothetical business plans (e.g., a clear understanding of positioning); construction of an IP portfolio linked to technology development aiming at gaining business advantages; planning and execution of IP strategies for clearing obstacles posed by the intellectual properties of competitors.
Strategy, technology, and IP departments formulate a Groupwide IP strategy by jointly preparing an original IP strategy sheet. Each department has been using this sheet to identify Toppan’s strengths in the businesses it handles by reviewing market environments, technological trends, and the intellectual property rights held by the Group and competitors. Once the Group’s strengths are confirmed, Toppan searches for the optimal approach to IP application and acquisition throughout the Group’s businesses.