Sustainability Management

Intellectual Property Strategy

Dexerials Group considers intellectual property (IP) as one of its essential management assets, and supports the enhancement of its corporate value and sustainable growth by creating new businesses and evaluating businesses using IP Landscape* while circulating the creation, protection, and utilization cycle.

  • * IP Landscape : To conduct analysis incorporating IP information into management and business information when formulating management or business strategies, and to share results thereof (e.g., overview of the current situation and future prospective) with top management and business managers.

Basic Approach to Intellectual Property Strategy

We are formulating and executing an IP strategy in three stages that span the period of the current Mid-term Management Plan (hereinafter referred to as the “Mid-term Plan”) and the next midterm plan. Under the “Core Patent Utilization Strategy,” which began with the current Mid-term Plan, patent scores for each business category are analyzed internally and utilized in business decision-making to strengthen the competitiveness of core businesses and review the business portfolio.
Since the updated Mid-term Management Plan announced in May 2021, we have been promoting IP Landscape in new domains in cooperation with other divisions under the “IP Co-Creation Strategy.”
These IP measures began to be disclosed from the “Dexerials Integrated Report 2021” and the disclosures are in accordance with the “Intellectual Property and Intangible Assets Governance Guidelines” published by the Cabinet Office. Furthermore, in the next mid-term plan, we will work on strategic planning and promotion in the IP-IR* domain to deepen engagement with investors by proactively disclosing the business contribution of IP and so on.
Promoting these strategies in parallel will contribute to our sustainable growth and increase our corporate value from the IP aspect.

  • * IP-IR: IP-driven investor engagement (Investor Relations)

IP Strategy Rordmap

Securing and Strategically Utilizing Intellectual Property

To enhance our business competitiveness, we are creating global entry barriers and securing IP rights to realize our business model.
In recent years, the percentage of foreign patent applications to the number of Japanese patent applications has remained high at over 70%. In addition, our patents registered overseas after being examined by each patent office is 66% of total registered patents. This percentage is almost the same as the overseas sales ratio of our business.
Moreover, by acquiring global rights to the various categories of inventions, etc., including functional materials, devices and manufacturing methods, etc., which we develop, manufacture, and sell, we can propose a wide range of solutions not only to direct customers but also to end customers.
We also review our patent portfolio based on annual business assessments, and promote the sale or licensing of patent portfolio that we have stopped implementing. For example, we recently sold some of our patents on water treatment agents to other companies, contributing to the effective use of environment-related technologies and patents, as well as to the monetizing of IP. By reviewing our patent portfolio, we support sustainable growth by converting IP resources into new business and development themes.

Open Innovation

As a result of active IPL-based collaboration and discussions among business units, corporate R&D, and departments related to new business creation, open innovation is gaining momentum and various patent analyses are being used to search for business partners.
One example of our open innovation activities is our participation in WIPO GREEN (a matching platform for environmental technologies and IPs promoted by the World Intellectual Property Organization), where we are making effective use of more than 100 of our own environment-related patents on a global basis. Furthermore, in April 2023, we jointly established the “Photonic Meta Sensing® Co-creation Research Center” with Tohoku University. We plan to promote open innovation by leveraging the IP of both parties.

Linking IP Investment and Management Indicators

Dexerials appropriates an amount equal to 27% (fiscal 2022 results) of the annual R&D expenditure for IP investments. Such investments have been actively made mainly into the enhancement of patent portfolios, IP Mix Strategy (design, trademark, knowhow, etc.), and DX for IPs.
On the other hand, we strive to prevent technology leakage and maintain business competitiveness by choosing not to file patent applications but concealing technologies that are difficult to prove infringement of, for example, manufacturing know-hows.
We are also working to evaluate and visualize our patent values and other intangible assets values using patent analysis software. For example, as a result of monitoring the correlation between our EBITDA and patent scores, we have seen a trend of EBITDA (earning power) rising in the wake of patent scores (IP investment). If the patent score increases but EBITDA does not increase, it may be that patent leverage has not been effective, and there are too many IP assets. While assessing business conditions, we will perform an inventory and reduce underutilized patents to build a lean patent portfolio and increase patent leverage.

Fostering of an Intellectual Property Mindset

Every April is designated as “Intellectual Property Month,” during which we hold IP lectures and other educational activities, and present awards for inventions and so on. To foster an IP mindset throughout the Dexerials Group, we also conduct ongoing IP education for all employees, including workshops by outside experts.
Our IP Department consists of approximately 20 employees, including specialists such as one U.S. attorney-at-law, three Japanese patent attorneys, five IP analysts, ten certified specialists of IP management, one Gold-certified patent searcher (electrical and chemical areas), and one small- and medium-sized enterprise management consultant (As of February 2, 2024).
We will continue to execute strategic IP activities under the motto “Changing and Evolving Organization” in order to sustainably create our corporate value by utilizing our IPs.