The Konica Minolta Group aggressively secures patents and patent applications that result from its research and development. In this way, the Group maintains its competitive edge in terms of patents, thereby enhancing corporate value.
The 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. The Group 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 addition, using technology from the field of optics, the Group has successfully developed reference photovoltaic (PV) cells, which are necessary for evaluating the performance of solar cells. Solar simulators are used to evaluate solar cells, and reference PV cells are used to adjust the intensity of solar simulators. This makes them indispensable for raising the efficiency of solar cell development and production.
The Group is focused on building a patent portfolio for products created through the refinement and amalgamation of these technologies. As a result, the Group now holds approximately 600 patents in Japan in its Performance Material Business, such as OLED lighting.
In existing business domains, the Group has identified priority technological fields where it is eyeing business expansion and a genre-top presence. In those fields, the Group is taking steps to quickly secure valid patents in targeted countries by focusing 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. As a result, it has steadily increased the number of its patents. As of March 31, 2012, the Group possessed rights to 8,981 patents in Japan and 5,763 patents in the United States.