The Patent Materials Office was established as a repository of Japanese and American patent information bulletins in the basement of the Technology Building No. 3 in 1978 to enable developers to directly view patent information. The Office has Japanese-American patent information bulletins (on paper) concerning automotive technologies, electronics technologies, materials technologies, and semiconductor technologies. The Office has public Japanese patent information from 1950 to 2009 and boasts one of Japan's leading collections of automotive technology related patent information. The Office is open to all Toyota group companies.
Programs include patented support activities started in 1981 with the objective of raising the quality of patent application discoveries. Support is provided from the creation of inventions to submission of patent applications for individual technology development topics. The program was later transformed to Strategic Patent Activities to further enhance patent strategies. The main activities include analysis of patent information concerning a single development topic by developers (inventors) and patent personnel, invention discovery, patent application submission covering a broad range of use rights, development of a patent network covering development technologies, and confirming the patents of other companies.
Since its establishment in 1937, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC)'s cumulative patent and utility model applications in Japan reached 10,000 in 1976, 50,000 in 1983, and 100,000 in 1996. By 2012, TMC expects to file 200,000 patent applications (cumulative) in Japan and 70,000 patent applications overseas. In 2009, TMC had the highest number of patent publications in Japan in a single fiscal year.
The Onshi Invention Award, supported by donations from the Imperial Household, is presented to the most outstanding invention from among the inventions and creations submitted for the National Commendation for Invention (sponsored by the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation) every year.
Toyota Motor Corporation won the award in 1987 for its helical intake port and again in 1999 for its nitrogen oxide catalytic converter system.
Structure of helical port with SCV