Protection of intellectual properties

  • Materiality

In the Mizuno Corporation Ethical Standards, the Mizuno Group stipulates that 1) Implementing thorough measures for protecting intellectual property created by the company. 2) Respecting all third party intellectual property and not infringing on the intellectual property rights of others. Mizuno proactively acquires and utilizes intellectual property rights such as patents, utility models, designs, and trademarks, both in Japan and other countries around the world.
We are also working to expose counterfeits and ensure the value of our brand and the safety of our users. For the intellectual property rights of others, we have established guidelines and various screening systems to prevent infringement on their intellectual property rights.

Protecting Mizuno’s own intellectual properties

Encouraging the acquisition of intellectual properties

Mizuno holds and protects many different technical patents and trademarks. We held training on intellectual property for employees involved in intellectual property, and 16 employees received the qualification of Certified Specialist of Intellectual Property Management in FY2019. We also encourage the aggressive acquisition of patents by giving awards for patent applications, new industrial designs and design applications.
Thirty-seven patents and six design applications were awarded in FY2019.

Detecting counterfeits

Allowing a bad counterfeit to be sold under the Mizuno brand can potentially destroy Mizuno’s credibility in society. The sale of counterfeit products can also have a grave impact on the safety of users and as a result of accidents and other problems.
Mizuno requests a crackdown on counterfeit products at customs, and in the countries where we sell our products, we collect information in cooperation with our overseas subsidiaries and conduct investigations and exposures, as necessary.
Recently, in response to changes in Internet sales and other commercial transactions, we have been investigating the status of sales of counterfeit goods through major e-commerce sites and social media on the global market, as well as halting listings. In FY2019, we executed our rights over more than 2,700 exhibited counterfeit products.

Respecting intellectual properties owned by third parties

Measures for respecting intellectual properties owned by third parties

Mizuno engages in business activities that use a wide range of intellectual properties, such as brands, designs, patents, and portraits of famous athletes.
The Guideline on Intellectual Properties Managed by Mizuno (Intellectual Property Guideline) was established in August 2008 and the Mizuno Design Order Guidelines was posted on Mizuno’s website in 2016 with the aim of preventing Mizuno’s intellectual properties from being used without permission at any stage, from development to sales. Mizuno takes action to ensure that the importance of intellectual properties is thoroughly understood by employees and by suppliers, and that intellectual property rights are protected.
In addition to products, we have also established a system for checking on a variety of rights, such as portrait rights, trademark rights, and the Law for Preventing Violations of Laws and Regulations concerning advertising products, and conducting prior checks.
Magazine advertisements, web advertisements, storefront posters, and all other advertising productions are subject to approval by the Evaluation and Judgment Department on the database before they are made public.
When we enter a new product domain, we pay more attention to the scope of the technology rights of others with a design review meeting for reconfirmation at the planning and development stage.

Future issues to be addressed

  • Mizuno will continuously enhance interest in intellectual property and share its values by disseminating the relationship between Mizuno’s intellectual property and its business to all employees. We believe that this will lead to the effective protection of the company’s intellectual property.
  • By widening the scope of investigation on sales of counterfeit product on e-commerce sites, we will understand the situation in Southeast Asian countries that are strategically promoting brand exposure and will take measures such as stopping shipments of counterfeit products.