CSR / Environment

Innovation Management

Corporate R&D Initiative

R&D Initiative and the Development System

As “One SHARP” business innovation focused on the realization an “8K+5G Ecosystem” and “AIoT*1 World” continues, the Corporate Research and Development Business Unit is pursuing a mission to develop pioneering, groundbreaking, proprietary technology that impacts society and sparks the creation of new ecosystems.

Sharp is 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. These technologies will also serve as the core around which world-changing solutions will be developed and delivered, new ecosystems will be built, and Sharp’s sustainable foundations for growth will be strengthened.

  • *1 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.

Notable Initiatives

In December 2018, the SHARP 8K Lab was established as a new initiative aimed at expanding and cultivating the 8K ecosystem platform. In fiscal 2019, Sharp is developing this initiative in China as well.

The SHARP 8K Lab Creative Studio was opened in the Tokyo Building as the industry’s first consultation space focused on corporate 8K solutions. In addition to space for having business meetings, this facility features an 8K camera shooting area offering an easy, hands-on 8K video creation experience, an 8K video IP transmission area offering public Internet connection access for transmission of 8K video data, and an 8K video editing area allowing handy 8K video editing. Various hardware and software can be added to accommodate the specific needs of each client company, thus providing them with optimized solutions.

In addition, Sharp is working closely with outside corporate partners to facilitate rapid, joint development with client companies of dedicated 8K solutions aimed at widespread adoption in society.

At the same time, Sharp has expanded its patent family under the licensing declaration for 5G next-generation mobile communications standards to 695*2. This gives Sharp the 8th largest share of 5G patents in the world (approximately 5%) and ensures it is an industry leader not only in 4G but 5G as well. Sharp is effectively capitalizing on the advantages of 5G technology to ensure an accelerated transformation aimed at the realization of its business vision.

  • *2 Excludes patents which were held by Sharp at the time of last year’s declaration but which are no longer held.

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.