Tokyo Gas has established the following two basic policies regarding intellectual property activities in order to perform our company's business operations without infringing on the intellectual property rights of other parties.
1. Effective protection and strategic use of created intellectual property
Tokyo Gas promotes the acquisition of rights of created intellectual properties and their utilization with an awareness of various business scenarios in order to ensure a degree of freedom in our business development. Specifically, in addition to promoting the acquisition of necessary rights, including patents, for intellectual properties created from the accomplishments of technology development with an eye to our future business development, we are promoting the utilization of intellectual properties owned by our company to the maximum extent with the possibility of even forming alliances with other parties in order to maximize the value of goods and services provided to our customers.
2. Reinforcement of intellectual property risk management
(1) To respect the rights of other parties
Tokyo Gas conducts a thorough prior-technology search from the initial stage of technology development and reflects the results in our technology development activities so that we do not infringe upon the rights of other parties when conducting our business. We also conduct similar searches before putting our products and services on the market.
(2) To respect the rights of employees
We are implementing a compensation system that ensures rationality and transparency as required by the provision of "Inventions by Employees" in the Patent Act. Specifically, we assess royalties from inventions every year and provide 5% as compensation to inventors in this system. We also make it possible for employees to file an appeal if they object to the compensation offered.
Tokyo Gas consolidates company-wide intellectual property operations into the Intellectual Property Office and manages them under a unified management system. We also collaborate with subsidiaries and affiliates of our Group as needed, including for the provision of support and information.
For employees and managerial staff engaged in technology development activities, educational activities are conducted using specific internal and external cases in addition to providing information on the intellectual property system to foster awareness of respecting the ownership rights of others.