Measures Concerning Intellectual Property
The Intellectual Property Group has two functions: the first function is a site supporting function to formulate intellectual property strategies together with each division, new divisions and the Development Department, and to construct a robust intellectual property portfolio; and the second function is a corporate function to examine and enforce intellectual property issues from a company-wide perspective, while cross-functionally connecting the site support function, and such corporate function has intellectual property planning, management, and intellectual property public relations, and so on.
The Intellectual Property Group engages in intellectual property activities that contribute to the business, while every function closely cooperating each other daily.
We have established overseas intellectual property sites in the United States, China, and Europe, where we obtain rights for locally created inventions and handle agreements & disputes. Those overseas IP sites cooperate with Intellectual Property Group in head office and actively promote intellectual property activities on a global level.
Protection of Intellectual Property
Murata performs integrated production from raw materials to products, generating a variety of intellectual property from R&D and business activities. We actively protect these outputs in the form of intellectual property rights such as patents, and they are utilized for business purposes. Moreover, a high proportion of Murata’s sales are generated outside of Japan and accordingly, we apply for intellectual property rights not just in Japan, but in other countries as well, building up a global patent portfolio. We also establish intellectual property bases in our various locations and build systems for the rapid protection and utilization of intellectual property that is created locally.
We also emphasize the protection of expertise to allow us to protect our manufacturing capabilities, which is Murata’s strength. We safeguard, as expertise, intellectual property that is difficult to distinguish from our products, and conduct management to prevent external leakage. To this end, we create systems for management of business confidences and thoroughly train employees on those systems.
Respect for the Rights of Third Parties
Murata respects the intellectual property rights of other companies and makes every effort to prevent any infringement of their intellectual property rights.
Measures against Counterfeit Products
Murata is taking action to protect trademarks in each country.
We are aware that, unfortunately, counterfeit Murata products are in circulation, in particular in the East Asian region. These counterfeits are handled by electronic component trading companies other than our authorized dealers and electronic commerce sites other than those belonging to the Murata Group. The counterfeit products do not meet Murata’s quality standards, and may result in major equipment malfunctions.
To ensure that our customers do not mistakenly purchase counterfeit products, we recommend that they purchase only from Murata sales offices or authorized Murata dealers.
In addition, with the cooperation of government organizations and other entities around the world, we are working to crack down on businesses selling illegal counterfeit products (administrative investigation, criminal investigation, and civil suit), prevent sales of counterfeit products on electronic commerce websites, and correct and eliminate acts such as the use of trademarks without permission and false representations, etc.
In the future, we will continue to monitor the situation and take action.
Intellectual property rights of employees
Murata has a reward system regarding new technologies developed by employees. Employees are rewarded under certain conditions, such as when a patent application is filed, a patent is granted, a patent is used internally, or Murata receives a patent royalty payment.
In evaluating patents, a review is undertaken by an “Invention Reward Reviewing Committee.” There is also a rule to accept objections from the employees against the review, in order that a fair evaluation is ensured.