Group Intellectual Property Strategy

The Mitsui Chemicals Group recognizes intellectual property to be the intangible assets that contribute to business, which broadly include patents, confidential know-how, utility models, designs, brands (trademarks), copyrights, as well as rights under contract, trade secrets and the like. We believe that strategically designing and utilizing the best mix of our intellectual property is key to accomplishing sustained competitive advantage. At the same time, we respect the legitimate intellectual property rights of other companies and ensure compliance by taking appropriate responses and actions wherever necessary.
The Basic Strategies of the 2025 Long-Term Business Plan are to (1) promote customer-driven innovation and strengthen our ability to propose solutions, (2) accelerate global expansion by strengthening overseas production and sales channels, and (3) strengthen the competitiveness of existing businesses by streamlining and establishing next-generation works that employ such advanced technologies as IoT and AI. Under these Basic Strategies, we intend to review our policy on acquiring and utilizing intellectual property that gives the Group an edge over the competition, in close collaboration with business divisions, R&D divisions, production/technology divisions, and other relevant departments, within and outside of the Group. By constructing business-specific intellectual property portfolios, we aim to maximize the business opportunities afforded by intellectual property and minimize any business risks associated with intellectual property.

Building and strengthening Intellectual Property Portfolio

The Mitsui Chemicals Group believes there are three key factors to success in its strategy of customer-driven business model:

  • (1) In business domains that drive growth, including new products, acquire intellectual property not for providing fundamental row materials alone, but that with an eye on solutions-based businesses,
  • (2) In existing basic business domains, rebuild the competitiveness of intellectual property for products at mature phase, including via business acquisition and
  • (3) In next-generation business development domains, build the exhaustive network of intellectual property considering the essential materials and processes of final products.

The Group is building and strengthening its intellectual property portfolio in accordance with the characteristics of its products and processes, maturity of markets, and each stage of product life cycles.

Building a Highly Exclusive Patent Portfolio

In recent years, the Group has maintained around 4,000 patents (held as patent families) in Japan and across the world, comprising patents effectively owned by Mitsui Chemicals and major subsidiaries. For expanding operations in the Mobility, Health Care, and Food & Packaging domains, strengthening the competitiveness of Basic Materials domains and pushing forward with the development of new businesses with an eye to the next generation, we intend to augment our holdings of patents and other intellectual property and build an elaborate and highly exclusive patent portfolio.

Strengthening the Intellectual Property Platform of the Mitsui Chemicals Group

To execute this intellectual property strategy, the Group is strengthening its intellectual property platform by (1) enhancing the performance of infringements judgment, intellectual property right clearance, and contract management, (2) cultivating IP information analysis and utilization, as well as pursuing the use of AI technologies to advance the analysis and utilization of big data, (3) promoting efficient outsourcing, (4) reinforcing and supporting the training of personnel who have advanced technical knowledge and skills related to intellectual property, (5) acquiring wide-ranging intellectual property personnel from not only chemical industry, and (6) promoting invention by expanding key intellectual property personnel onsite, including at works.

Furthering Intellectual Property Strategies in Key Overseas Regions

In addition to efforts aimed at developing new business in Europe and the United States as well as the implementation of brand strategies, measures to counter risks associated with intellectual property rights in emerging markets, such as those in Asia, are becoming increasingly important as the Group works to expand globally. Against this backdrop, Mitsui Chemicals is forming close ties with the regional headquarters and local Group companies to ensure the deeper penetration and promotion of the Group’s intellectual property strategy, which includes efforts to better protect the Mitsui Chemicals Group brand across overseas businesses, while addressing changes in the global business environment in a timely manner.

Harnessing and enhancing the value of intellectual property throughout the Mitsui Chemicals Group

As well as harnessing intellectual property held by the Group for our own purposes, we are committed to helping a wide range of business partners, so that we can generate new value and create new businesses together.

If you are interested in licensing or entering into a partnership in relation to intellectual property held by the Mitsui Chemicals Group, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We will give serious thought to all inquiries. Please be aware that you may be required to sign an appropriate confidentiality agreement before proceeding.