CSR Information

Intellectual Property Management

Intellectual Property Policy

Imitation and unauthorized use of trademarks and copyrights have become one of the risks for corporate management. The Sumitomo Forestry Group strives to protect the intellectual property it creates, such as by claiming rights for proprietary technology and concealing its know-how.

The Group is also putting effort into preventing rights violations by or to the Group. It is working to raise awareness about compliance among all Group employees, not least those in the research and development departments and in the marketing and planning departments.

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Systems for Managing Intellectual Property

Sumitomo Forestry established the Intellectual Property Department and it employs a number of patent lawyers on its department staff. In addition to providing support for creating intellectual property, support for filing applications and preserving rights for intellectual property, and support for concluding various technology-related contracts, the department also raises awareness for intellectual property among employees, conducts internal and external intellectual property trend analyses, and makes recommendations for the direction of research and development.

Furthermore, in order to prevent rights violations from being caused by or to the Group, the Company has also established an Intellectual Property Hotline and promotes this service to employees.

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Initiatives for Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property Education

The Intellectual Property Department conducts classroom training for Sumitomo Forestry Group employees as required, for the purpose of promoting the creation of intellectual property and preventing any conflicts with the rights of other companies. Each year since fiscal 2012, a compliance-focused e-learning program for all Group employees has been conducted using the intranet. In addition, every year, Sumitomo Forestry enlists employees from research and development departments, including at Group companies, and sends them to training provided by external organizations, such as the Japan Intellectual Property Association.

In fiscal 2016, the Company held nine study sessions on intellectual property at the Tsukuba Research Institute and affiliate companies for employees in charge of research and development in an effort to ensure thorough compliance and risk management. In addition, training on trademarks was conducted four times, targeted at employees in charge of advertising in each division and at affiliate companies, to emphasize the importance of trademarks and to raise the level of awareness of key points.

Study session on intellectual property at Tsukuba Research Institute

Study session on intellectual property at Tsukuba Research Institute

Intellectual Property Award

The Intellectual Property Awards are conducted annually by the Group based on an Intellectual Property Award Code to recognize groups and individuals who have contributed to enhancing the Group’s business competitiveness through inventions and other notable achievements.

In fiscal 2016, an awards ceremony was held at the Head Office and nine employees received awards or commendations.

Education through the Company Intranet

Sumitomo Forestry has set-up a company intranet site called Intellectual Property Farm. The site provides Sumitomo Forestry Group employees with a fundamental grounding in intellectual property as well as a simple explanation about trademark rights that employees ought to understand when promoting business activities. The site also posts information on the latest topics concerning intellectual property.

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Toward the Future

The Sumitomo Forestry Group will focus on preventing rights violations by improving the operational flow for conducting investigations on the rights while systemizing intellectual property education and thorough management of trade secrets and intellectual property.

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CSR Report2017