Approach to Intellectual Property and Intangible Assets

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JGC Group's View on Intellectual Property and Intangible Assets

At the JGC group, we are proactively working on creation, protection, application, and risk management of intellectual property and intangible assets, based on the ideas described below to solve social problems and realize the creation of economic, social, and environmental values, through our businesses. We are working to realize this by demonstrating our "management capabilities, vision, technical expertise, and risk management" which are our core competencies.

  1. 1.Creation of Intellectual Property and Intangible Assets
    We will create intellectual property and intangible assets that meet the needs of society and our customers, by undertaking the "creation of knowledge" by multi-faceted conceptualization of various ideas within the JGC group, and the "fusion of knowledge" by finding excellent technology outside of the group and co-creating together with partners.
  2. 2.Protection of Intellectual Property and Intangible Assets
    We will protect the intellectual property and intangible assets contributing to sustained growth of our business, and value enhancement by appropriate management of trade secrets and a mixture of intellectual property or intangible assets that includes patents, trademarks, designs, know-how, systems, software, technical brands, and so forth.
  3. 3.Promotion of Business by the Application of Intellectual Property and Intangible Assets
    We will make efforts to achieve a competitive advantage for our general engineering business and functional materials manufacturing business, and strengthen our technical licensing business, by broadly applying our accumulated intellectual property and intangible assets. We will further link our business strategy and technology development strategy with our intellectual property strategy, and promote establishment of new business models and commercialization of technology through collaboration with others.
  4. 4.Risk Management Regarding Intellectual Property and Intangible Assets
    We will respect the intellectual property rights of others, and make efforts to take appropriate actions. Furthermore, we will comply with intellectual property laws and regulations, and will make efforts to improve our literacy of intellectual property and intangible assets, to minimize intellectual property risks.

Paten Portfolio

Proportion of Patent Ownership by Business Segment

At the JGC group, in order to realize stronger competitivity and sustained growth of our businesses, we continue to acquire and maintain intellectual property rights, focusing on catalysts in functional materials manufacturing businesses, fine chemical fields, and so forth, in addition to oil and gas, LNG, chemicals, and life science fields, in the general engineering business, which is an important segment. Moreover, we are reviewing the intellectual property rights that will be needed in line with the business development and technical trends, securing businesses for own implementation, and we are also working on building an intellectual property portfolio that will benefit co-creation activities with third parties along with technology licensing.

Proportion of patent ownership by business segment in general engineering business


Proportion of patent ownership by business segment in functional materials manufacturing businesses

Proportion of Patent Ownership and Patent Applications by Region

We are expanding our business focusing on general engineering and functional materials manufacturing business, not only in Japan, but in countries and regions around the globe. The number of our patent applications overseas, especially in Asia, which is the business region that we specialize in, is increasing. We are conducting systematic acquisition of rights in line with our global business expansion.

Proportion of patent ownership by region

Proportion of Patent Applications in Our Fields of Focus

At the JGC group, we have initiated intellectual properties portfolio constructing activities related to the digital transformation, which will be an innovative technology for business efficiency, and the five fields of focus in our "2040 Vision" that we have set to be our long-term management vision. We plan to gradually increase the proportion of patent applications in the fields of carbon management, including low-carbon or carbon-free technology to make up our energy transition, clean energy, and high-performance materials.

Transition of the number of patent applications by the JGC group in our fields of focus

Activities Regarding Intellectual Property and Intangible Assets

By concentrating intellectual property activity resources on the core business area and growth business area, we are aiming at obtaining intellectual property rights that contribute to business area expansion, which is set forth in our 2040 Vision. We are protecting intellectual property rights in focus fields, focus technologies, and focus areas, at the appropriate timing, and are practicing the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) cycle for effective usage.

Also, the intellectual property and intangible assets that support our business include JGC's knowledge and know-how relating to engineering, project management, dealing with contractual risks, and so forth. Further included are various sales information and business information, such as customer relations. We continue to manage such secret information stringently.

In addition, as an intellectual property and intangible asset activity that promotes the diversification of strategic investment and business models, we are planning to embark on "intellectual property intelligence activities" to visualize various types of information, such as trends on technology at other companies, identifying noteworthy technologies, patents that will be useful in partnering, and so forth, and to connect such information to the expansion and creation of our businesses.

Implementation System of Intellectual Property and Intangible Assets Strategy

Under our technology commercialization council, chaired by the TCO (Technology Commercialization Officer) as the general manager, we are constructing a system that promotes the development, research, and commercialization in the exploratory area, and are efficiently and effectively evaluating the level of maturity of technologization and commercialization.

Also, in important technology development themes, we provide multiple stages from research and development through commercialization, perform reviews regarding intellectual property in gate examinations at stage transitions, and perform monitoring to make sure that planning and implementation of the intellectual property strategy is being carried out in a sure manner, in conjunction with business strategy and technology development strategy.

Efforts in Co-Creation

Our group is promoting collaboration with new business partners to expand our business region and realize diversity of our business model. By fusing intellectual property and intangible assets that are the strengths of our group and our partners, we will focus our efforts on system integration and digitalization of existing fields and new fields, and in creation of new businesses.

Also, mid-to-long-term efforts, such as confirmation of performance and operation through verification testing is indispensable for technology development regarding sustainability, such as chemical recycling, clean energy, and so forth. In such mid-to-long-term efforts involving social issues, we are actively taking part in government research and development projects and so forth, and are working toward social implementation of large-scale technology development themes, such as proposing solutions through cooperation of government, business, and academia.

An example of co-creation with an external partner is EUP (Ebara Ube Process), which is technology developed by Ebara Environmental Plant Co., Ltd. and Ube Industries, Ltd., and is the only technology in the world that has a record of long-term commercial operation. Our group has sublicensing permission and provides customers with licenses as an official licenser-contractor. We also are working toward deploying an EPC business to build manufacturing facilities for this technology.
EUP is a process of gasifying waste plastics through partial oxidization by oxygen and steam, to produce synthetic gas that can be used in synthesis of chemical products such as ammonia and olefine, contributing to promotion of plastic recycling that is a global problem.

In this way, our group is aggressively acquiring external technology through open innovation, and will continue to pursue business creation and business expansion through licensing.
Further, the CVC fund "JGC MIRAI Innovation Fund" that JGC Holdings Corporation and Global Brain Corporation jointly established is investing in startup companies that have innovative technology and business models, inside and outside of Japan, and is broadly engaging in solving increasingly-complex social issues.

Education Related to Intellectual Property and Intangible Assets

Continuously creating innovation is indispensable in commercializing technology and deploying business models. We have developed a rich in-house education program, as one of various types of measures to guide the employees of our group, who are the main entity of innovation activity, into being an innovative engineer group.
We are also putting efforts in our "JGC IP Academy" which is education regarding intellectual property and intangible assets, so that each employee can recognize the importance of intellectual property and intangible assets, and include a perspective of intellectual property in their own duties in carrying out business activities. This is a program configured to separately target beginners, practitioners, and management. Correctly knowing rules and potential risks relating to intellectual property is a help in realizing thorough implementation of compliance with respecting the rights of others ("JGC Group Code of Conduct" 6.2 Information Management and Protection of Intellectual Property Rights).

Handling Risks Relating to Intellectual Property and Intangible Assets

One of various types of risk minimization activities regarding businesses and projects is handling risks related to intellectual property and intangible assets. In the JGC group, the business department, the technology development department, the legal department, and the intellectual property department cooperate to identify and reduce intellectual property risks.

Risk handling Content
Implementing patent clearance Appropriate measures are taken respecting the intellectual property of others, and focus is on dealing with patents of other companies, to prevent patent litigation and so forth in advance.
Technology contract review In projects and licenses, and various types of technology contracts in joint development, it is important to maintain a good relationship among customers, licensers, licensees, and business partners, and construct an appropriate business relation. To this end, thorough management of technology contracts is performed.
Information management of trade secrets, etc. Know-how and trade secret information, such as EPC implementation, manufacturing technology, and so forth, is an important intangible asset of our group. Protection of trade secrets is enforced from both of human-related measures and object-related measures, through developing various types of rules, constructing information management systems, in-company education, and so forth, from the perspective of information security.