Basic ApproachBack to Top

The TOPPAN Group sees intellectual property (IP) as a core source of competitiveness in business. We follow an IP strategy that secures competitive advantages in markets.

Based on an IP strategy aligned with our business and R&D plans, we will further link IP activities with R&D and market-oriented activities to acquire intellectual property rights for the products and services generated from our integrated efforts. Intensified IP initiatives will ensure that we have the IP capabilities needed to bolster the business portfolio transformation and business management of the Group.

TOPPAN Group Basic Policy on Intellectual Property
We develop proactive intellectual property initiatives from a global perspective based on an intellectual property strategy that further aligns our market-oriented stance and R&D activities by positioning intellectual property and intangible assets as important management resources to generate competitiveness in business.
We strategically use the intellectual property we have created to enhance corporate value and attain sustainable growth through the execution of Group management, higher business profits, and effective solutions for social issues.
We respect the intellectual property rights of others and take appropriate proactive/preemptive measures to avoid rights infringements when operating our businesses.
We comply with the laws and regulations pertinent to intellectual property rights across the world and exercise our legitimate rights appropriately when any of our intellectual property rights is infringed by a third party.
We appropriately and accurately use the trademarks we hold to enhance our brand value.

Intellectual Property StructureBack to Top

We have launched a project to enhance our IP capabilities by integrating business, R&D, and IP strategies across the Group. Project participants discussed the ideal structure for the future and concluded that the IP function must be strengthened, leading to the establishment of an Intellectual Property Division spun out from the Legal Affairs & Intellectual Property Division in April 2022.

Meanwhile, IP strategy departments newly set up in the business divisions are coordinating with the strategy departments in the Intellectual Property Division to build the foundation for advancing IP initiatives at TOPPAN.

IP and technical managers from the business divisions direct the IP enhancement project to comprehensively take charge of activities focused on IP issues throughout the Group.

IP Management InitiativesBack to Top

Foundations for Patent Portfolio Management

We maintain an accurate picture of our intellectual property portfolio by classifying all of the patents we hold in products, services, and technologies in accordance with a set of in-house criteria. Efforts are also underway to quantify the value of the patents held by assessing them with a set of in-house indicators in combination with external indicators conventionally used.

These activities, applied together, form foundations for managing our patent portfolio in ways optimal for the ongoing transformation of the business portfolio of the TOPPAN Group.

IP Management for DX and SX Businesses

The Medium Term Plan sets a goal of growing us into a leading provider of solutions for social issues through DX and SX initiatives. As such, we will continue to examine the patents we hold in DX and SX businesses and enrich our DX/SX patent portfolio in line with the Medium Term Plan.

Driving Open Innovation

We have been implementing an open innovation program called “co-necto” since 2017. The program solicits outstanding business ideas mainly from startups and advances those ideas with our management resources to co-create a new business.

A co-necto venture starts with field trials aiming at co-creation by three parties: the TOPPAN Group, a startup, and a local partner company. The field trials explore the best market to fit a new service, product, or solution springing from the collaboration of three parties. Eighty-six startups entered this program and three field trials were performed in fiscal 2022.

We support the ventures from an IP perspective by conducting simple IP due diligence before the field trial implementation.

Global IP Initiatives

TOPPAN has acquired intellectual property rights by filing applications in about 40 countries and regions throughout the world. Our direct connections with patent offices in major countries back up our global Group operations.

We will further increase IP applications in countries with important markets for our business and in countries where we operate our major production sites. The applications will be focused on security solutions, packaging, and décor materials, the three business segments targeted for expansion in the Medium Term Plan.

Protecting Designs and Brands

We recognize that patents to protect proprietary technologies and property rights to protect designs and brands are essential to ensuring the uniqueness and high competitiveness of the businesses developed under the TOPPAN brand. And recognizing the importance of designs and trademarks, we work to register and protect design and brand rights for our products and services.

Another focus is brand protection through the appropriate filing of trademark applications for services in DX business, especially for Erhoeht-X™, the brand symbolizing our DX expansion.

Turning to trademarks in SX business, we deliver services under S-VALUE®, a brand that offers fulfilling, comfortable lifestyles in a sustainable society.

In addition to the designs for packaging and other products and services, we have also filed applications for image-based designs for the graphical user interfaces (GUIs) often used for our DX services, based on the extended set of design categories to be protected under the amended Design Act of Japan.

Through these IP applications, we strive to use design and trademark rights and patents in ways amenable to securing a mix of intellectual property rights that bring us a competitive edge in business.

Design and Brand Protection

Intellectual Property StrategyBack to Top

We aim to establish a framework that enables the business departments to formulate and implement their own IP strategies in line with the business plan of the Group. The following measures have been taken to form this framework: IP analysis to determine the direction of technology development based on hypothetical business plans (e.g., a clear understanding of positioning); construction of an IP portfolio linked to technology development aiming at gaining business advantages; planning and execution of IP strategies for clearing obstacles posed by the intellectual properties of competitors.

Strategy, technology, and IP departments formulate a Groupwide IP strategy by jointly preparing an original IP strategy sheet. The business departments have been using this sheet to identify TOPPAN’s strengths in the businesses they handle by reviewing market environments, technological trends, and the intellectual property rights held by the Group and competitors. Once our strengths are confirmed, we search for the optimal approaches to applying for and acquiring IP throughout our business.

IP Training and Talent DevelopmentBack to Top

The Intellectual Property Division leads the implementation of Groupwide IP training programs. The division releases news on intellectual property at regular intervals and arranges e-learning and group-training programs tailored to each employee’s experience and duties. We continue to enhance the IP knowledge of individual human assets, along with their abilities to effectively use that knowledge.

Personnel at the Intellectual Property Division also provide IP support through all the stages from invention consultation to IP application, to any investee companies that need IP resources.

The division personnel further enhance customer trust by visiting SME business partners across Japan to hold onsite IP training on topics such as patents and trademarks.

CommendationBack to Top

FY 2022 Intellectual Property Achievement Award

Toppan Inc. won an award from the Commissioner of the Japan Patent Office (JPO) at the Intellectual Property Achievement Awards organized by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and JPO in fiscal 2022. METI and JPO recognized Toppan Inc. as a corporation that effectively utilizes intellectual property rights, especially patents.

We will advance IP activities under a comprehensive strategy closely linked to our business and R&D strategies to enhance the corporate value of TOPPAN through the transformation of our business portfolio.

Acquisition of Intellectual Property Rights (Toppan Inc.)Back to Top

The number of applications, etc. may increase or decrease when we change our in-house aggregation methods.
No. of Patent Applications (Japan)
No. of Overseas IP Applications (PCT)
No. of Patents Held (Japan)
No. of Design Applications (Japan)
Portfolio of Patents Held by Business Field (Japan)
No. of Trademark Applications (Japan)

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