And the winners are... Asia IP Elite Awards 2023

And the winners are... Asia IP Elite Awards 2023

Another successful IPBC Asia has come and gone, and as IAM’s editorial team makes its way home from Tokyo, we are reflecting on the highlight of the past three days: the gala dinner.

This year, we recognised a record 88 Asia IP Elite entities. Then, following a delicious dinner and a free flow of wine and laughter, we invited a handful of executives and IP departments, who had been handpicked by the editorial team for their especially significant contributions to their organisations over the past year, to come up on stage and accept an award.

IAM would once again like to congratulate all the winners, who are listed below…

Automotive Team of the Year – BYD

In 2022, BYD surpassed Tesla as the world’s largest seller of electric vehicles. And, this is largely thanks to the significant inroads it has made through its patents in both the Chinese and overseas markets, holding 15 times more patents than its US counterpart Tesla. The company has been very vocal about leveraging its IP to become “number one in Europe”, and its headway on the patents side might very well help it get there.

Electronics Team of the Year – TCL

TCL consistently appeared in IAM’s headlines in 2023. It managed to end litigation with IP Bridge through a successful bilateral licensing agreement, as well as a slew of lawsuits filed against it by members of the Access Advance HEVC/H.265 patent pool in Germany, including GE Licensing and LG Electronics. The Chinese implementer also signed up for Via Licensing’s Advanced Audio Codec patent pool in April and Via LA’s ATSC 3.0 broadcasting patent pool in September. TCL Industries Holdings’s chief IP officer Lawrence Wu in October revealed that this scaling up in activities is all part of a longer-term plan for it to become a much bigger 4G and 5G SEP player, which he noted holds “significant potential for future monetisation”.

Healthcare and Biotechnology Team of the Year – Biocon Biologics

Headed up by IP veteran Arshad Jamil, the IP department at Biocon Biologics is currently very active in the US biosimilars market – especially following the acquisition of US-based Viatris Inc's biosimilars business last November. Jamil confirmed last month that the company is already eying markets beyond that, however.

Industrials Team of the Year – Daikin

The IP unit at Daikin has started adopting some major strategy changes, including a more recent focus on broadening its team overseas. IP department manager Abe Takeo recently spoke to IAM about those shifts and revealed that as well as building an IP system in North America and exchanging its IP policy with experts at overseas companies, the business’s rare royalty-free pledge is taking off – with 50% of all household air conditioners now using its R32 technology, leading to the reduction of 370 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Internet and Software Team of the Year – Alibaba

Alibaba features in many of the world’s top patent holdings rankings, including the blockchain asset market and the metaverse market – and is consistently named one of the largest contributors to the software and internet services market. Following what marked Alibaba’s most significant restructuring in its 24-year history, IP head Sean Ke also revealed to IAM that this has meant each individual business has its own strategy, making for a much more streamlined overall IP game plan.

R&D Institution of the Year – CSIRO

The Australian state-funded research organisation maintains a key focus on the direct monetisation of its patents, and claims to have one of the world's 20 biggest portfolios in the agri-food technology space. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has also been making large strides forward in the renewable energy innovation space, recently partnering with critical minerals company Tivan to develop and commercialise a novel vanadium processing technology used in the production of renewable energy storage systems across Australia.

Semiconductor Team of the Year – SK Hynix

This South Korean chipmaking giant has shifted significantly up the ranks in the semiconductor patent ownership space, coming in 15th place as of September 2023. The company also featured in the top 100 US patent owners of 2022. Its steps forward in innovation are paying off, as the company announced earlier this week that it has “narrowed the gap” in the DRAM market with Samsung Electronics. Last quarter, SK Hynix lifted its share of that market to an all-time high of 35%.

Telecommunications Team of the Year – Huawei

Having struck at least three major SEP cross-licensing deals in 2023 – all three involving patents related to 5G cellular technologies – Huawei is undoubtedly setting the pace for the world’s 5G landscape. The Chinese SEP giant also tops the ranks for the world’s top 10 5G patent owners, IAM revealed in October. But the company is not keeping this to itself. In fact, it is taking on an increasingly outward approach, marked by the way it joined at least two patent pools related to cellular technologies as a licensor this year.

Asia IP Deal of the Year – Xiaomi, IP Bridge, Orange and Siemens

This deal, announced in January, was groundbreaking in the IP world. The agreement, which grants Xiaomi use of patents owned across key technology areas including cellular, wireless communication, HEVC and EVS, was the Chinese headset maker’s first-ever multilateral licensing deal.

Asia Team of the Year – Huawei

Without a doubt the most significantly outspoken and productive Asian IP player. It is thanks to the people behind the scenes that Huawei has been able to make its name reach headlines so consistently over the past couple of years – despite the hurdles it has come up against. Huawei also stands out as one of the only Chinese businesses confidently joining patent pools as a licensor and a licensee and was the region’s first major IP holder to test out the UPC.

Asia Individual of the Year – Tomonori Bekku, Former General Manager, IP, Nissan

IP veteran Tomonori Bekku retired from his role as general manager of IP at Nissan earlier this year, after decades at the helm. During that time, the company transformed from an entity almost entirely unaware of the value of IP into a heavily IP-centric business. IAM research recently revealed that, under his guidance, the company became one of the world’s strongest patent holders of EV power systems, for example. Bekku also currently serves as president of the Japan Intellectual Property Association.

Congratulations to all the winners, and we’ll see you at our next IPBC Asia in Tokyo in 2024.

 

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