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Konica Minolta : Intellectual Property Report 2021

01/10/2022 | 10:48am EDT




The novel coronavirus epidemic has brought about dramatic changes in social conditions and the business environment. The sources of corporate earning power are also undergoing change, with the proportion of intangible assets growing larger and increasing in importance as management resources. Under these changing circumstances, corporations have been reaffirming that a significant influence on management is exerted by investments and strategies relating to intangible assets, including intellectual property. Proper disclosure of information about the investments and strategies is being called for.

Konica Minolta recognizes that intellectual property is an important management resources. We have been continuously disclosing investments and strategies relating to intellectual property since fiscal 2004 by means of our Intellectual Property Reports. In this Intellectual Property Report, we have made every effort to disclose specifics about intellectual property investments and strategies in our Medium-Term Business Plan "DX2022" together with our intellectual property activities in fiscal 2020. I hope that this Report will serve as a tool for dialogue with all of our stakeholders, including our shareholders and investors.

Going forward, we will continue to support the sustained growth of our business by investing in and actively utilizing intellectual property on the basis of our philosophy, "The Creation of New Value." In this way, we will further improve our corporate value and contribute to our customers and society.

Tetsuya Matsueda

Corporate Senior Vice President

General Manager, Corporate Legal Division and Responsible for General Affairs, Intellectual Property, Compliance and Crisis Management


Directions for Intellectual Property Activities

Efforts to Strengthen Intellectual Property CapabilitiesGovernanceSpecial TopicsData Section


Directions for Intellectual Property Activities

the imaging-IoT platform business, which is central to the transformation of our business operations.

  • Initiatives Corresponding to Business Phases
  • Active Utilization of Intellectual Property

As a result of the accelerating advances made toward digitalization in recent years, it has come to be seen as an urgent task to transform a business centered on selling products into a business of solutions and IT services. To achieve this, the creation of innovation is essential. Konica Minolta is not only tackling the creation of innovation on its own, but also making active use of M&A and open innovation to acquire intangible assets, including technology, know-how, and other forms of intellectual property.

Through the effective use of these intangible assets, we will accelerate our business transformation, expand our business profits, and provide solutions to various social issues.

  • Intellectual Property Strategy

Intellectual property is one of the management resources, and an intellectual property strategy tied closely to business strategy and technology strategy is an essential element for management. When Konica Minolta formulated the previous Medium-Term Business Plan "SHINKA 2019," we also formulated Intellectual Property Strategy 2017-2022 to support our businesses with intellectual property. Under the Intellectual Property Strategy 2017-2022, we have been acquiring domain patents and building a patent portfolio to protect our proprietary technologies. In addition, we have been engaging in initiatives to incorporate know-how and data into intellectual property strategy and fully utilize them. We have also been updating the strategy annually to keep up with environmental changes in business and intellectual property.

To continue steadily implementing the Intellectual Property Strategy 2017-2022, we are also carrying out strategies and policies to improve quality of intellectual property and to foster

intellectual property experts. We are developing intellectual property professionals with the aim of improving the asset value of our intellectual property and making our intellectual property strategy more effective. Konica Minolta formulated its new Medium-Term Business Plan "DX2022" in fiscal 2020. Under this Plan, we are transforming our business portfolio by means of a digital transformation (DX) that has a proprietary "imaging-IoT platform" at its core. Accordingly, we have initiated a strategy to achieve genre-top position for our imaging-IoT intellectual property as a new focus based on the Intellectual Property Strategy 2017-2022, providing intellectual property support for

Intellectual Property Policy

DX2022 Intellectual Property Policy Strengthen imaging-IoT"intellectual property genre-top"strategy

  • Intellectual Property Strategy 2017-2022

Intellectual property genre-top strategy / Intellectual property mix strategy / patent information analysis

  • Strategies and Policies to Improve Intellectual Property Quality
  • Strategies and Policies to Foster Intellectual Property Experts

Medium-Term Business Plan

Medium-Term Business Plan



Business Model

Digital Workplace (DW)


Professional Print (PP)



Healthcare (HC)

Industry (Ind)

Fig1. Transition of intellectual property strategy

Konica Minolta carries out intellectual property activities in line with the phases of each business concerned. For strategic new businesses, we concentrate our efforts on creating intellectual property that originates in customer value and on protecting related data and know-how. The aim is to steadily advance market creation and participation. For core businesses, we protect the technology that is the mainstay for sustained growth and revenue of the business, and in this way, we are striving to secure our competitive advantage. For businesses with stable or low profit, we manage intellectual property ROI to optimize our intellectual property investment efficiency according to the business environment. Thus, we are working to maintain and improve our profitability and competitiveness.


Secure a competitive

advantage by protecting

technologies and businesses

that are the core for sustained growth and revenue of the business

Optimize intellectual

Market creation and

property investment

efficiency by intellectual

participation by creating

property ROI management

intellectual property


originates in customer


Recover investment

by monetization



Businesses with stable




Businesses with


low profit

Business phase

Fig2. Business phases and intellectual property activity measures


Directions for Intellectual Property Activities

Efforts to Strengthen Intellectual Property Capabilities

GovernanceSpecial TopicsData Section


Efforts to Strengthen Intellectual Property Capabilities

Intellectual Property Genre-Top Strategy




indicates the score of patents with the highest evaluation

Product launch




  • Imaging-IoTIntellectual Property Genre-Top Strategy

We are promoting the imaging-IoT intellectual property genre- top strategy to support Konica Minolta's Medium-Term Business Plan DX2022. We figure out the business and intellectual property environment, and then identify the fields where Konica Minolta can realistically aim for genre-top position. In these fields, we secure patent rights for edge devices (sensors), AI- driven solution and business model. Also, utilizing know-how and data, which is the source of our services, we are promoting collaborations with our partners and contributing to our business. Business solutions, which are created by applying our proprietary visualization technologies to data acquired by means of edge devices (sensors) and imaging AI, are protected in multifaceted ways through active utilization of patent acquisition and knowhow management.

As to the data itself, we are building an environment in which such data itself can be actively utilized as a valuable information asset. In these ways, we are using intellectual property to build multifaceted and multilayered barriers around the fields of technology that Konica Minolta considers its strengths. We will aim for the top position in those fields.

For the Intelligent Quality Optimizer Unit IQ-501 that we launched in the summer of 2017, we have strengthened our patent portfolios globally and built an intellectual property genre-top position. As a result of these efforts to build our patent portfolios, products equipped with Intelligent Quality Optimizer Unit functionality have secured the highest share in their target markets. The portfolios are also helping to secure a high profit ratio.









2019 Calendar


Number of applications (indexed with 2015 as 1): Left vertical axis Shipment share in Japan, US and Europe (indexed with 2015 as 1) : Right vertical axis

Source: IDC Worldwide HCP Tracker 2021Q2 (Share by Company)

Fig4. Strengthen Intelligent Quality Optimizer Unit IQ-501 patent portfolio (trend in number of patent applications worldwide)




Imaging IoT


Intellectual Property




Mix Strategy

Edge Device

Konica Minolta

Protection by intellectual

(1) Protect edge devices (sensors) with

(Sensor Device)

property rights

patent rights

aims for customer

value and

(2) Keep AI confidential as know-how and

Imaging AI


Protection by know-how

protect AI-driven solutions with patent

specific fields by


identification and

Contracts with partners

(3) Protect business models with patent

segmentation of

IoT Platform

for data creation and

rights and collaborate with partners with

"the visible"


use of data

The overall score of patent portfolio

The score of patents with the highest evaluation

Fig5. Patent-owner score in Intelligent Quality Optimizer functions

*Provided by Konica Minolta using Patent Result Co., Ltd.'s "Biz Cruncher." The size of the circles indicates the number of patents of each

company. The horizontal axis indicates the score of patents with the highest evaluation; the vertical axis indicates the overall score of patent portfolios.

Fig3. Diagram of genre-top strategy for imaging-IoT intellectual property


Directions for Intellectual Property ActivitiesEfforts to Strengthen Intellectual Property Capabilities


Special TopicsData Section


Structure Supporting Intellectual Property Activities

  • Intellectual Property Activity Support for Group Companies

Intangible assets such as intellectual property are the focus of increasing attention as sources of corporate competitiveness. In this context, we are engaged in developing the framework to acquire intellectual property rights and conduct a freedom-to- operate search (search to check whether third-party's intellectual property rights are not being infringed) at development sites in

  • Intellectual Property Management Structure

At Konica Minolta, a Corporate Vice President in charge of intellectual property is responsible for Group intellectual property management in accordance with the business judgments of the President and CEO. The Corporate Vice President in charge of intellectual property participates in key management meetings as a standing member, and he deliberates on important matters, such as intellectual property policy, for the Group as a whole. The intellectual property policy based on management strategy is shared among Intellectual Property Division and business departments. Taking into account such factors as the market

environment and business flow of each business department, we develop, promote and execute the intellectual property strategy in close coordination with the business department. The Intellectual Property Division has two functions: one as developing and executing strategies for each business department and acquiring intellectual property rights in accordance with the strategies, and the other as promoting company-wide strategies and managing intellectual property-related risk. We have created organized structures for these two functions to effectively execute the strategies in coordination with relevant business departments as well as planning/management divisions.

Japan and overseas so that no losses of business opportunity or serious risks arising in connection with intellectual property will occur. Acknowledging that business environments, development targets and speeds differ from one development site to another, the Intellectual Property Division conducts interviews with each center about how its rights acquisition and the freedom-to-operate search are functioning, suggests the best frameworks for those activities, and supports the site in developing the frameworks. By means of such support, we are promoting the implementation of rights acquisition and search at each site. In doing so, we, as the Konica Minolta Group, are forming intellectual property assets and avoiding the risks of infringement, and channeling this toward improved corporate competitiveness and expanded corporate

shareholders' meeting

Key Management Meetings

Executive Officers, Corporate Vice Presidents

Report and

Appoint and

President and CEO

(Business Departments and Departments Subsidiaries)



Executive Officers, Corporate Vice Presidents,

Board of Directors

Departments with Jurisdiction Over Internal Controls

Assignment of area

Report and

Appoint and

of responsibility

Corporate Vice President Responsible for



Legal Affairs and Intellectual Property

Decide and execute strategy relating to IP

Report and Propose


Each Business Department, Each Planning and Management

Intellectual Property Division

Division (Corporate business management strategy, etc.)


Formulate and Promote Group IP Policy, and Manage IP

Strengthen Technology, Create Innovation, and Set, Execute


Functions in Each Business Departments, based on

and Manage Targeted Goals, based on Management Strategy

Management Strategy

Dialogue and

Disclose IP

Formulate and Execute IP Strategy in Each

Disclose Information


Business Departments, Apply for Patents and

Acquire Rights


(Customers, Employees, Business partners, Shareholders,

Promote IP Strategy across the Company and

Investors, etc.)

Manage IP Risk

Fig6. Intellectual property (IP) management structure


  • Management Structure for Creation of Innovation

Changes in the business environment have been accelerating in recent years. For corporations to grow sustainably, it is essential that they open up new fields of business according to the changing times. Compared with existing businesses, however, creating innovation in new fields entails greater inefficiency and uncertainty. At Konica Minolta, we are building management structure for innovation creation that provides hypothesis verification for proprietary technologies and business models at each business stage in order to create innovation in new fields more efficiently. As part of hypothesis verification, management judgments using information are made. As an example of hypothesis verification using intellectual property information, by analyzing the patent portfolios of other companies in new fields, we can grasp trends in technology, competition/alliance relationships, our position in the fields, and verify the business model's uniqueness, and its expandability and sustainability.

This is an excerpt of the original content. To continue reading it, access the original document here.


Konica Minolta Inc. published this content on 11 January 2022 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 10 January 2022 15:47:03 UTC.

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