LIXIL is the most comprehensive and connected global company in the housing and building industry, delivering human-centric innovation that enhances people's living spaces.
LIXIL Group Corporation, as a pure holding company, constantly and closely monitors the risks faced by Group companies, verifies how well they are hedging those risks, and offers guidance. As part of this endeavor, the holding company has made the establishment of Risk Management Committees mandatory in all Group companies. The Company regularly verifies the state of risk in each of the Group companies and studies the risk of Group companies through the Internal Audit Committee and the Risk Management Committee. When necessary, Group companies are requested to report before the committees. In addition, companies are required to report on risk at the regular quarterly results discussion meetings and other meetings.
The LIXIL Group has established global principles on intellectual property (IP) management, expanding the coverage of our IP management structure to include overseas subsidiaries, to maximize the value generated from IP and minimize associated risks across the Group.
We aim to protect the fruit of our R&D activities from being imitated by competitors and differentiate our products, through effective protection and use of IP. We also share our IP assets with business partners as necessary for the purposes of creating high value-added markets for customers and strengthening our business relationships. We build, maintain and actively use the Group-wide IP portfolio, considering the strategies of each technology business, potential Group-wide synergies, and our long-term business strategy.
We manage our IP strategically across all Group companies, through regular meetings as well as day-to-day contacts among members of the Intellectual Property divisions at the headquarters and overseas subsidiaries, product development personnel in each technology business, and R&D personnel at the headquarters and major global Group companies.
At LIXIL Group, we protect our high-quality IP in order to differentiate our products and secure competitive advantage. We investigate whether the inventions and designs by our R&D divisions have 'prior art', and determine the value of applying for a business patent or design application, before making decisions on whether to license IP rights.
Any infringement of third-party IP rights on our part through our business activities could lead to legal action, resulting ultimately in the suspension of sales or compensation claims. To avoid such risks, we investigate thoroughly third-party IP rights before starting operations.
To ensure that the above mentioned activities are facilitated appropriately, we are actively enhancing the knowledge base and skill sets of employees involved in IP. We also provide IP trainings to managers and new hires.