Top 100 Global Innovators award

Epson wins Thomson Reuters award for the fifth straight year

Top 100 Global Innovators award

Epson a winner for the fifth consecutive year

Epson has yet again won the Top 100 Global Innovators award – making it five years running. The Thomson Reuters award recognises the world’s most innovative organisations based on global patent trends, and very few companies have won it for so many years consecutively. In winning the award, it gives credit to the close cooperation between Epson’s International Property Division (IP Division) and Epson’s technology development teams, which collectively strive to keep driving the company forwards.

Futoshi Saito from Thomson Reuters interviewed Toshiya Takahata, an executive officer at Epson and general administrative manager of the company’s Intellectual Property Division, to find out more:

Saito: There are not many companies and organizations that have received this prestigious Top 100 Global Innovators award for five years in a row. I think it is truly excellent that Epson’s ongoing efforts to innovate have. How do you see the role of IP in this ever-changing global environment?

Takahata: It is often said that management and IP strategies need to go hand in hand, and I believe that IP is the foundation stone for corporate activities.

Saito: Based on what I have heard from Epson’s leadership team, the IP Division, and people in the technology development departments, it sounds like these strategies are proceeding well.

Takahata: Epson enacted a long-term vision – SE15 – in 2009, and I feel that was the point from where we were able to truly integrate our management, R&D, and IP strategies. On March 17 this year, we announced our next corporate vision, which we call Epson 25. This illustrates Epson’s will to build on its solid manufacturing foundation to create a new era based on the unique advantages it has built up over time.

Saito: Could you tell me how the business divisions, the R&D Division, and the IP Division are linked in your company?

Takahata: We have development centers in and outside of Nagano Prefecture, Japan. We have IP Division staff stationed close to the inventors at each development center, and we make sure it is easy for our staff to communicate with the inventors.

Saito: Is there any sort of common language used among management, R&D, and IP divisions? I hear that sometimes they have trouble understanding each other due to using different jargon.

Takahata: The IP Division specializes in law, dealing with rights based on intellectual property law. On the other hand, business divisions inevitably focus on manufacturing and business. The one language they have in common is technology. Patents do not come about from fantasizing about what people might want, they are based purely on technology.

To read the full interview, please click here