The Terumo Group strives to create intellectual property that will help strengthen its competitiveness. In doing so, we establish a priority for allocating resources, based on R&D and business strategies. Development directions are considered and intellectual property portfolios are built from a strategic perspective. In this perspective, development and intellectual property departments initiate development activities by collaborating in identifying other companies’ patents and the characteristics of their products. As we expand our business operations globally, we are strengthening cooperation with overseas Group companies to further the effective application of the Group’s intellectual property and taking steps to improve our management of intellectual property risk.
As of March 31, 2019, Terumo held approximately 5,000 patents issued in Japan and abroad. Patents related to existing businesses account for a relatively high 84% of the total, with patents related to new areas making up the remaining 16%. Reflected here is the impact of Terumo’s earnings cycle, in which technology for “Advanced” products is also applied in “Platform” products. Even as we develop inventions in new fields, we use what we newly create to contribute to the businesses that comprise our current operations. Patents held in Japan currently represent 41% of our patent portfolio while patents held overseas represent 59%, illustrating an increase in overseas patents focused on those supporting overseas operations.
As of 31 March 2019, the number of patents held inside and outside Japan is approximately 5,000. Patents held in new fields account for 16% of the total, while the percentage for existing businesses is a high 84%. This shows the result of the Terumo earnings cycle in which advanced product technologies are fed back into platform product improvements, and that inventions patented for new fields contribute to existing businesses. 41% of patents are held in Japan, and 59% held outside Japan. Terumo continues to raise the proportion of patents outside Japan in order to support overseas business.