CSR / Environment
Corporate R&D Initiative
R&D Initiative and the Development System
As “One SHARP” business innovation focused on the realization of an “8K＋5G Ecosystem” and “AIoT* World” continues, the Corporate Research and Development Business Unit is pursuing a mission to develop pioneering, groundbreaking, proprietary technology that impacts society and thus creates new ecosystems and new businesses.
We are particularly focused on integrating IoT with people, standardization, incubation, and connected industries in order to develop new technologies that will help address the challenges facing society and serve as a seed for future new business. By expanding B2B and the solution business through its 8K＋5G Ecosystem and AIoT World, we are leading the way in pioneering new applications and entering other industries.
- * AIoT is a word coined by Sharp, combining the words AI (artificial intelligence) and IoT (Internet of things).
“AIoT” is registered trademark of Sharp Corporation.
Sharp has achieved some world-first verification tests in various fields as part of efforts to disseminate its 8K＋5G Ecosystem solutions. For example, towards realizing 8K broadcasts utilizing 5G technology, the company has carried out a multi-angle live broadcast of an international basketball game and has used 8K-camera-equipped drones to transmit images that aid in horse breeding. Other examples involved making social infrastructure building/maintenance more effective and labor efficient and realizing remote inspections. New applications use 8K to help achieve high-precision, highly detailed measurements in remote inspections in which triple-lens cameras inspect construction site reinforcements and AI image processing is used to analyze underground pipes. In addition, through 5G research and development, Sharp has obtained more than 6,000 telecommunications standard-essential patents in at least 50 countries that it is licensing out.
Sharp is working towards realization of its AIoT World through the commercialization of a beacon powered by a dye-sensitized solar cell certified as having the world’s highest power generation efficiency and that requires no battery replacement. We are also expanding into other industries with our unique and advanced cold-retention material, which holds promise for more and more applications in fields such as gourmet food, sports, and logistics.
Under open incubation activities, Sharp has launched “monozukuripro.net,” an online matching service for startups. By bringing together promising startups and established manufacturers possessing advanced technologies and know-how, Sharp aims to accelerate collaboration between companies and thus spur technological innovation.
Intellectual Property Protection
Intellectual Property Strategy and Management System
Sharp regards its intellectual property strategy as one of its critically important management strategies, and it is promoting it together with its business strategy and R&D strategy. By aggressively obtaining patents, Sharp is boosting the superiority of its product and device businesses and strengthening its business foundation. The company’s intellectual property department was spun off into ScienBiziP Japan Co., Ltd. (SBPJ) in 2016, with a view to making it a profit center of Sharp. Because SBPJ is well versed in Sharp’s products, technologies, and businesses, it can offer a high level of specialized service and improved efficiency. SBPJ gives Sharp more driving force in its intellectual property management, generating strong patents and economic value from Sharp’s state-of-the-art technologies.
Regarding patent applications, Sharp defines core technology areas with respect to each business and strategically files patent applications that are tightly coupled with its business development. Sharp is also acquiring useful patents invented in cooperation with other companies or derived from the activities of alliances, such as industry-university cooperation. In addition, Sharp is filing applications and registering rights for designs and trademarks globally under its brand strategy.
Protecting Intellectual Property
Sharp maximizes the use of its intellectual property by linking it to its business strategy and R&D strategy. It is also firmly committed to protecting its own intellectual property rights, while also respecting the intellectual property rights of others. While Sharp takes an amicable approach to resolving issues of infringement, it is the company’s policy to seek the judgment of a third party, such as the courts, when its intellectual property rights are not respected.
Sharp is also working to bolster protection for trade secrets and to prevent unauthorized disclosure of production technologies and manufacturing know-how, particularly those that are unique or critically important to Sharp. Further, counterfeit Sharp-brand products have had a growing impact in overseas markets in recent years, and Sharp is taking measures to counter these imitations through cooperation with industry groups and with regulatory authorities taking enforcement actions.