Mitsui & Co., Ltd. received an Encouragement Award for its support of the utilization of intellectual property (Business Support Category) at the Intellectual Asset Management Forum 2017 Fourth Intellectual Property Utilization Awards held on November 30, 2017.
This award is part of "Intellectual Asset Management Week" led by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), which aims to raise awareness of the utilization of Intellectual Property (IP). Hosted by the Japan Patent Attorneys Association (JPAA) (supported by METI, Japan Patent Office, and Foundation of Intellectual asset management center) the awards aim to give recognition to small and medium enterprises which proactively utilize IP in intellectual asset management and the institutions which support them.
Using its Business Promotion Division (established in 2015) as the core, Mitsui & Co. is utilizing its unique selling power as a sogo shosha (to find, connect, and create a market) to proactively promote projects which lead to the commercialization of IP, through support of the practical use of intellectual property and the creation of a network with research institutes, universities, and companies nationwide.
As its first project, Mitsui is engaged in a licensing project together with Hiroshima University and a venture company from the same institution, CampusMedico, Inc., to utilize IP related to L8020, a lactic-acid bacterium discovered by Professor Nikawa of Hiroshima University's Graduate School of Biomedical and Health Sciences. In addition, Mitsui & Co. entered a strategic alliance with Europe based Novagraaf Group B.V. to offer high quality, comprehensive IP services in various countries around the world and develop Novagraaf Group's services in the Japan market.
This award recognized the achievements of such efforts related to the utilization of IP. There is a lot of dormant IP which has not yet been utilized in universities and companies in Japan, as well as around the world, and going forward we aim to contribute to customers and companies by discovering this hidden IP and effectively deploying it in the form of new products, business, and initiatives.
* L8020 lactic-acid bacterium is a lactobacillus classified as lactobacillus rhamnosus. It has been independently proven in healthy subjects with no history of oral cavities to show antibacterial effects against candida fungus, periodontal disease bacteria, and bacteria that causes tooth decay.