Basic views on intellectual property
- Comply with patent laws, copyright laws, and other laws and regulations concerning intellectual property rights.
- Build an integrated system from invention promotion to enforcement of rights, in order to properly protect ROHM's products.
- Improve the quality of patent application, etc. by filing patent applications efficiently.
- Establish an appropriate royalty balance by strategically responding to disputes.
ROHM considers it essential to properly obtain and use intellectual property rights such as patents to ensure positive use of our products by our customers. An original system is in place to encourage invention disclosures, and many patent applications are filed in and outside of Japan. In addition, ROHM respects the intellectual property rights of other companies, while at the same time created an integrated system for protecting our customers' interests against thirdparty intellectual property rights enforcement that undermine customer interests.
Incentive program for promoting employee inventions
ROHM has various incentive programs for employee inventions to encourage creative activities with intellectual properties. With inventions discovered through invention promotion or delivered in the form of invention disclosures, ROHM evaluates the feasibility of use with products made by ROHM and other companies, the inherent potential, etc. and manages the inventions so that they can be properly controlled after rights have been obtained. For this reason, ROHM enhances the incentive to invent via reward and award programs such as a President's Award for employees who made excellent inventions. ROHM also enhanced the incentive for inventors by not setting an upper limit on the amount of money paid as performance reward or license reward, which is paid at a ratio according to the degree of contribution to the company.
Patent education for employees
ROHM provides its employees with education on intellectual property in order to comply with laws and regulations concerning intellectual property rights, and protect ROHM's products by upgrading their awareness of intellectual property such as patents. ROHM inherently makes inventions discovered in the process of developing its own products and, therefore, files patent applications closely adjusted to technological trends owing to an integrated system from invention promotion to enforcement of rights. For example, ROHM provides all new employees, not just those in engineering divisions, with training on the importance of intellectual property rights during new employee training and also provides all employees in development divisions with intellectual property course during their job grade training.
ROHM also introduces a patent survey tool to each division and team in order to respect the intellectual property rights of other companies in the course of development, and monitors the registration patent publications of other companies in the related technological fields.
Trends of patent applications and patent rights
To ensure effective use of created inventions, ROHM actively pursues obtaining overseas patent rights. In particular, patent applications are filed primarily in the United States and also in other countries, taking into account the markets and competitor companies. In order to effectively manage patent rights, patents are reviewed, and patents for products or services which have no prospect for utilization in ROHM or other companies are abandoned accordingly, and patent assets and costs are controlled properly.
Trademarks and designs
ROHM also protects not only the quality and service but also the trademark and design of its products so that they are recognized by customers as the ROHM brand. ROHM's Legal&Intellectual Property Division is responsible for applying for, obtaining and protecting not only the rights of the ROHM SEMICONDUCTOR company logo also legal perspective such as the Trademark Law and other lows of product brands. For example, ROHM has obtained the 'PICOLED' trademark for its own LEDs to support the development of this product in the ROHM brand from a legal perspective. ROHM also actively files the design patent applications of its LED lighting to protect the design. In response to intellectual property rights issues in China, ROHM takes a variety of actions including defensive trademark applications to strengthen the protection of its trademark rights in China.