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Intellectual Property Activities

DENSO's intellectual property strategy is directed at unifying its business unit and technology strategies, and it is one of the important management strategies that will sustain growth into the future.

Intellectual Property Activities' Policy

DENSO believes that business unit strategies will not be viable unless they are backed by intellectual property (IP) strategies and is consequently unifying the two accordingly. In line with the DENSO Group's Global Mid-term Policy, the Company promotes activities to establish a focused patent portfolio for "world-first" and systems products as well as IP activities related to open innovation. The Company is supporting efforts to expand its business and achieve continued growth from the IP standpoint by utilizing the patents that have been acquired in a strategic manner.

Respect for other companies' IP rights

DENSO sees problems related to other companies' IP rights as equally important as major quality problems in its own products. From the development stage, the Company examines the IP rights of other companies and has clearly defined internal rules to ensure that its products do not infringe the IP rights of third parties.

Measures against counterfeit products

DENSO takes active measures against counterfeit products (in particular those with imitation trademarks). There are many quality problems with counterfeit products, and there is the possibility that purchasing such a product in the belief that it was manufactured by DENSO could be detrimental to the purchaser. In 2005, the Company commenced activities to detect counterfeit products in cooperation with government and customs agencies. DENSO is continuing those activities and, since more recently, has been monitoring Internet auctions and other sales channels for counterfeit products.

Global Intellectual Property Network

Global IP system

As we bolster development in our overseas technical centers, we are working to set up IP systems at our centers in North America, Europe, and China, thereby strengthening our acquisition of IP rights for local inventions and examination of other companies' IP rights. In addition, as a cooperative framework within the Group, we support patent disputes in North America through our bases in North America, and our bases in China engage in product protection by taking measures against counterfeit products and the taking out of Chinese petty patents.

Problems are shared between the IP staff at each technical center and Head Office, and a global IP meeting is in place to work on plans to stimulate and develop the IP activities in each region. In place to allow discussions between IP staff from Group companies in Japan, a similar meeting works on plans to stimulate and develop the IP activities at each Group company.

Meetings to support IP activities

  Activities Meetings held
Technology development meetings: (IP strategy committee) Decision making regarding DENSO's IP strategies, involving discussions and decisions about related matters As required
Business unit patent promotion meetings Follow up of progress made as regards each unit's IP activities, and steady development of these activities Twice a year
Liaison meetings for full-time patent personnel Implement IP activities policies and measures regarding each technology department's patent representative Six times a year
Global IP meetings Discussion of issues and planning of stimulation and development of regional IP activities by Head Office and IP staff at technical centers in North America, Europe, and China Once a year
DENSO Group IP Conference Discussion of issues by IP staff (those in charge) at DENSO consolidated subsidiaries and Head Office, planning to stimulate and develop each company's IP activities Once a year

Number of domestic patent applications

Number of domestic hold patents

Number of overseas patent applications

Percentage of patent applications for each overseas country

Number of overseas hold patents