Intellectual Property Rights Management

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Intellectual Property Rights Management

Intellectual Property Rights Management

Intellectual Property Rights Management Policy

Wistron places great importance on the management of intellectual capital. We have strengthened our R&D capabilities, introduced high value added products and technical services for innovative functions, and improved manufacturing efficiency and quality through the intellectual property rights management policy. Wistron establishes, accumulates, maintains, and manages a comprehensive IP portfolio for the future. Furthermore, we use risk management to enhance the competitive capabilities of the Company and increase profits. In the future, we will continue to implement our intellectual capital management plan by integrating the Company’s strategic considerations and operating goals to implement the real time production, management, and monetization of intellectual property rights.

Wistron's principles regarding intellectual property rights management are as follows:

Patent portfolio management

Wistron’s patent strategy is based on developing a healthy, sustainable and high performing global patent portfolio. As of today, we have an extensive patent portfolio of over 6,000 granted international patents. We protect all technologies, designs, and inventions developed by the company through the comprehensive patent portfolio, in order to maintain customer interests.

The patent team does not only work closely with the research and development units. We have established more than a hundred review items to implement strict management and control of patent quality. The items cover the entire patent prosecutions process to maintain the level of quality of each granted patent. We continue to improve the expertise of patent personnel and the patent knowledge of all employees internally, and evaluate patent firms externally. In order to encourage employees to invent and create, we have stipulated the Invention Reward Regulation to improve services and product quality and functions, strengthen our competitive capabilities, and explore future development opportunities. We provide incentives for inventors and publicly recognize their efforts during our Annual Patent Award Ceremony.

For the quantity and quality control of patents, in addition to home-grown producing, purchasing, and investing in acquisition and accumulation of high value patents, we also sell or eliminate unused patents. We use consistent standards to quantify patent evaluations, in order to clearly grasp the value of patents and improve the deployment of our patent portfolio through various indicators. While maintaining a sizable patent portfolio, expanding the scope of technologies, improving patent quality, and increasing the overall value and benefits of patents, we will continue to improve the transparency and integrity of our patent portfolio. Wistron promotes the vitalization of patents to achieve the optimization and value maximization of our patent portfolio and monetization efforts.

Protect trade secrets and confidential information

Trade secrets and confidential information are important intellectual properties of Wistron. We use related control mechanisms to ensure the protection of trade secrets and confidential information. Apart from maintaining our competitive edge, the protected information provides the drive for innovation and ensures the customer’s rights and interests. No substantiated complaints concerning breaches of customer privacy and losses of customer data were received by the Company in 2021.

In order to protect the confidential information of Wistron and our customers, Wistron obtained the information security management system international standard ISO/IEC 27001 certification and implemented management. We conduct social engineering drills once every 6 months to improve employee awareness of phishing emails. The click rate in the 2021 drill has been lowered to 10.5%. Meanwhile, we conduct confidential information and trade secret protection training for all new employees, in order to ensure that employees fulfill our confidentiality commitments to our customers.

We have signed confidentiality agreements with our customers and related suppliers. Both parties are required to protect confidential information. In the past 5 years, we have signed an average of 400 to 700 confidentiality agreements every year. Customer information is handled by designated units to reduce the possibility of improper disclosure and leaks. We have also joined the Taiwan Association for Trade Secrets Protection to continue tracking changes to related laws and the industry.

The Implementation of Intellectual Property Rights Management

Wistron has enacted a formal intellectual property rights management policy since 2020. Highlights of Wistron’s management of intellectual property rights matters in recent years include the following, and have been reported to Wistron’s board of director on December 23, 2021:

  1. Wistron established a complete information security management system, which was certified as ISO/IEC 27001.
  2. Wistron has conducted social media and electronic mail simulation drills every 6 months to increase every employee’s awareness of phishing letters.
  3. All new employees must complete a training course that pertains to the protection of confidential information/ trade secrets to ensure that each employee will adhere to Wistron’s confidentiality commitments and policy when dealing with customers. Wistron has signed NDAs with its clients, suppliers and the relevant supply chains to request mutual protection of confidential information.
  4. Wistron has used Microsoft's SCCM software to carry out software inventory on a regular basis.
  5. Wistron has required new employees to take a software license course since 2018, and 10,436 personnel have passed this course up to November 30, 2021.
  6. Wistron’s patent portfolio ranks second among peer competitors in the industry.
  7. Wistron has evaluated its patent portfolio every year, and has eliminated those patents that are no longer relevant (such as due to expiration, sale, or abandonment).
  8. To protect Wistron’s registered trademarks, Wistron controls the information about the use and application of trademarks in every country through a global monitoring system, and will file an opposition against those third-party trademarks that are similar to Wistron’s. Up to now, approximately 70 oppositions have been filed, and the success rate exceeds 85%.

Wistron’s intellectual property rights portfolio:

  1. Patent: Wistron owns more than 6,300 multinational patents (nearly 87% of invention patents) and designs worldwide.
  2. Trademark: Wistron currently owns about 950 registered multinational trademarks. 890 trademarks were renewed, and 60 have been abandoned.