R&D and Intellectual Property
Sharp conducts R&D activities from the perspective of users with the goal of consistently delivering new levels of value and joy to people around the world. To accomplish these goals, we focus on two approaches to R&D. The first is to create original products by blending our many unique technologies. The second approach tackles fields of technology that are new to Sharp using open innovation and cooperation with partners. These approaches allow us to perform distinctive, speedy, as well as efficient R&D.
Intellectual Property Strategy
Sharp views its intellectual property strategy as one of its key management measures, promoting it in a coherent manner with business and R&D strategies. By aggressively targeting acquisition of patent rights, Sharp works to enhance competitive edges in its Product Business and Device Business and thus reinforce its operational foundation. In 2016, Sharp reformed its intellectual property division to change it to a profit center, and established a spun-off company, ScienBiziP Japan Co., Ltd. (SBPJ). By using highly skilled services provided by SBPJ who understands Sharp's products, technologies and business well, Sharp accelerates promotion of intellectual property-related operation based on intellectual property strategies and cohering with business strategies of Sharp. Sharp has clearly delineated the fields that are central to each business group to conduct strategic patent development close to the front line. Sharp also obtains useful patents arising from alliance activities from collaboration with other companies or universities.
Sharp is also working to obtain design and trademark registrations based on its brand strategy so as to increase the number of applications and registrations globally.
Sharp endeavors to make full use of its intellectual property in coordination with its business and R&D strategies. In addition, we take actions to protect our intellectual property rights, and we adopt an approach of respecting the intellectual property rights of other organizations. Our fundamental policy is to resolve infringement issues through dialogue. If other organizations fail to respect our intellectual property rights, however, we are fully prepared to enlist third parties, including courts, to obtain a judgment.
Sharp also works hard to reinforce the protection of trade secrets and to prevent leaks concerning its unique and important production technologies and know-how. Also, the impact of counterfeit Sharp products overseas has grown in recent years. In response, we have been promoting measures to clamp down on this practice in cooperation with the relevant authorities and industry associations.