Toshiba Reveals 3-Year Plan to Increase Overseas Foreign Patent Applications by 20%

In an effort to ramp up their brand overseas, Toshiba Corp. announced yesterday that it will be stepping up its overseas patent application filings from its current 51% of their combined domestic and international patent application filings to 70% by the year 2014. The news appeared in Nikkei Shinbun yesterday.

The firm will increase the number of local intellectual property specialists and hire 260 R&D and design specialists to its operations in China in hopes of increasing the percentage of patent applications filed in that country from its an overall 7% of total output to 14% by 2014. The firm will also increase the number of R&D specialists in their Indian and South East Asian operations by 470 workers indicating the firm’s shift to meeting the future demands in the rapidly growing emerging economies.

In terms of technologies, Toshiba plans to focus on cloud computing software and environmental and energy-related fields.

The Japan Patent Office (JPO) published its 2012 Annual Report on Patent Policy in June 2012, and according to the report, the number of foreign applications filed by Japanese companies went up 14%, from 32,148 in 2010 to 38,874 in 2011. In this light, Toshiba’s three-year plan to increase their foreign patent applications is in line with an overall upward trend among Japanese corporations to protect intellectual property abroad. However, Toshiba’s vigorous pursuit of foreign patents and R&D activities abroad stands out among Japanese companies, and shows an aggressive IP strategy to generate licensing revenues.

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