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 VISION 2030 are to (1) reform our business portfolio based on the foundation of social issue perspective, (2) build solutions-based business models via bolstering our business designing capabilities, (3) bolster circular economy oriented business models via developing and acquiring related foundational technologies, and (4) apply digital transformation throughout our entire Group and all business domains. Under these Basic Strategies, and in close collaboration with business divisions, R&D divisions, production/technology divisions, and other relevant departments, within and outside of the Group, we will review our policy for acquiring and utilizing intellectual property that keeps the Group predominant over the competitors. By constructing such 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.

Promotion of IP digital transformation(DX)

In keeping with the Group’s objective of promoting innovation to create business models based on the perspective of social issues, the Intellectual Property Division is strengthening IP consultant-type activities through which we actively and autonomously collaborate with the business divisions and R&D divisions to pursue IP strategies. As information researches and analyses are becoming increasingly important for building the IP portfolio needed to realize solutions-based and/or circular economy oriented business models. By presenting combined knowledge we have obtained through research and analysis of intellectual property information and business information from internal and external sources, we may have discussion on potential fields for new business development, and deepen cooperation with the relevant business and R&D divisions. We are regarding such activities, so called IP landscape, as the core of our IP digital transformation. Through these efforts, we will draw an overall picture of the Group's businesses, giving a bird's-eye view of the business as a whole that includes the trends of competitors and the customer’s perspective as well. By anticipating and identifying what types of technologies, materials, and services will be needed in the future, we are promoting initiatives that directly link the implementation of our IP strategies with the Group business strategies.

Building and strengthening Intellectual Property Portfolio

The Mitsui Chemicals Group believes there are three key factors to success in its strategy of business models based on the perspective of social issues :

  • (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 providing solutions for business breakthrough,
  • (2) In basic business domains, transform businesses with a focus on green materials as well as 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 capable and valuable for new business design 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 Life & Healthcare, Mobility and ICT solutions domains, strengthening the competitiveness of Basic & Green 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) reinforcing and supporting the training of personnel who have advanced technical knowledge and skills related to intellectual property, (2) acquiring wide-ranging intellectual property personnel from not only chemical industry, and (3) promoting invention by expanding key intellectual property personnel onsite, including at works.

Promotion of a global IP strategy

As the Group business is expanding globally, it is essential that we provide IP support for the business growth of our company and our overseas subsidiaries and affiliates in each country and region. There are many important issues facing us, including addressing new business development in Europe and the United States, implementing related brand strategies, and dealing with IP risks in developing countries in Asia and elsewhere. While adapting to changes in the global business environment in a timely manner, the Company, our regional headquarters and our overseas Group companies are working closely together to improve awareness of and promote our IP strategy in our overseas businesses.