At the Konica Minolta Group, we aggressively pursue patent filings and other steps to convert research and development results into viable property rights. In this way, we maintain our competitive edge in terms of patents, thereby enhancing corporate value.
The Konica Minolta Group possesses a host of outstanding core technologies in the materials, optical nano-fabrication, and imaging fields honed through years of business that began with optical technologies. The further refinement and amalgamation of these core technologies, meanwhile, is enabling the Group to create new value.
A great example of this is roll-to-roll coating-based Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) lighting. Konica Minolta was the first in the world to successfully develop this lighting solution, which emerged by combining functional organic material synthetic technology cultivated in photographic materials, optical design technology derived from work in lenses, and film-making and coating technology refined in film manufacturing.
In this way, we are pushing vigorously ahead with fostering OLED lighting and other new businesses in environment and energy, which we have positioned as a future growth field. At the same time, the Group is concentrating intensely on building a portfolio of related patents to maintain its dominant market presence.
In existing business domains, the Konica Minolta Group has identified priority technological fields where it is eyeing business expansion and a Genre-top presence. In those fields, we will focus closely and systematically on invention and discovery, appropriately selecting the countries in which to file patents and executing measures for swift conversion to patent rights.
The Group's superiority in terms of patents is enhanced not only from the acquisition of high-quality patents, but by possessing a large portfolio of such patents. We are particularly dedicated to building up high-quality patents in Business Technologies Business and Optics Business, our core business segments. As a result, we have steadily increased the number of Konica Minolta Group patents since FY March 2006. As of March 31, 2011, the Group possessed rights to 7,839 patents in Japan and 5,498 patents in the United States. Patents in core business fields (Business Technologies and Optics) accounted for 74% of the Group's patents in Japan, and 71% of its U.S. patents.