Epson holds 50,000 patents globally. It states that in the past it tried to protect its hardware IP from other hardware manufacturers, but that is no longer the case. Today the competition extends to the software and information technology industries, and thus a broader range of competitors.
Epson files about 4000 patent applications a year and is working with patent agencies in 20 countries or more at any given time. In the patent rankings for the 2015 fiscal year, Epson ranked 7th in Japan for the number of patents awarded, 16th in the United States, and 15th in China (among foreign companies). Epson possesses world-class IP capabilities and is an industry leader in patent quantity and quality in product categories such as inkjet printers and projectors.
Toshiya Takahata, executive officer and general administrative manager of Epson's Intellectual Property Division, said, "I am extremely pleased and proud that Epson has once again been honoured with inclusion on the Top 100 Global Innovators list. Epson's business strategies and intellectual property strategies are closely linked to the Epson 25 Corporate Vision. The acquisition of high-quality patents that contribute to our business is a high priority for us.”
The top 100 is dominated by technical, medical, and automotive companies and this year's study also revealed wider diversification within the patent portfolios of the top innovators. Canon, General Electric and Hitachi are investing significantly in medical devices, while Google is developing a self-driving car and Amazon is actively involved in drone technology.
The data in this year's report shows the path to innovation is no longer a straight line. On average, the 2016 Top 100 Global Innovators invest 9.1% more in R&D than those in the S&P 100, underlining the importance they place on innovation.
You can read more on Epson’s IP endeavours here.
Toshiya Takahata (right) accepting the trophy from Hirofumi Hino of Clarivate Analytics.