Kao Corporation

Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan

Industry sector: Personal care, chemicals

Cosmetics and chemicals producer Kao has been manufacturing skincare, hair styling and colouring products for over a century. Originally developing products for the Japanese market, it now counts internationally renowned brands such as John Frieda, Jergens, Biore and Molton Brown among its portfolio. The IP function can coordinate with dedicated patent liaison officers working within the laboratories of each business unit, ensuring that both sides have detailed knowledge of new products coming down the pipeline and the processes involved in protecting and commercialising them. Kao’s IP strategy is focused on integrating the scientific, technical and business know-how amassed over the company’s lifetime and applying it to the development and launch of fresh products. One such example was the recent unveiling of the Megurism Steam Thermo Power Pad to alleviate muscle stiffness – a product that brings together technologies that Kao developed over 20 years across various brands.