Konica Minolta conducts its business activities with an awareness that intellectual property management forms one of the Company's three key overarching strategies, together with its business strategy and technology strategy.
Konica Minolta published 2,924 Japanese patent applications in fiscal 2013. Patents in the Business Technologies Business comprised 49% of the total, and the proportion accounted for by the Industrial Business grew to 27%, reflecting steady applications related mainly to OLED lighting.
By region, in fiscal 2013, Konica Minolta registered 2,108 patents in Japan, roughly 150% the number registered in fiscal 2009. During the same period, patents filed in the United States also rose to about 150% the 2009 level, reaching 680 and ranking 19th highest among Japanese companies. Patents registered in China increased to roughly 120% the 2009 number, totaling 145. The total number of patents that Konica Minolta holds in China has risen to about 250% the 2009 level, at to 687, a result of the Group's efforts to secure intellectual property rights in the country.
The operating environments of many of the Group’s businesses are rapidly changing. To select suitable countries for filing patent applications in such areas, the Group makes use of Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications. These applications are of assistance in evaluating patentability and staying abreast of relevant trends in technology in the time leading up to filing applications in specific countries. Of the Group’s published Japanese patent applications in fiscal 2013, 17% were PCT applications, compared with 15% in fiscal 2009.