Investment in R&D is critical for competitiveness in Xerox’s fast-paced markets where more than two-thirds of our equipment sales are from products launched during the past two years.
Xerox’s R&D drives innovation and customer value by:
- Creating new differentiated products and services.
- Enabling cost competitiveness through disruptive products and services.
- Enabling new ways to serve customers.
- Creating new business opportunities to drive future growth by reaching new customers.
To ensure our success, we have aligned our R&D investment portfolio with our strategic planks: accelerating the color transition, driving the “New Business of Printing®”, enhancing customer value by leading with services and expanding our participation in the SMB market. 2007 R&D spending focused primarily on the development of high-end business applications to drive the “New Business of Printing®”, extending our color capabilities, expanding our services offerings and delivering lower-cost platforms and customer productivity enablers. The Xerox iGen3, an advanced next-generation digital printing press that produces photographic-quality prints indistinguishable from offset, the Xerox Nuvera 288 Digital Perfecting System that boasts the fastest (288 duplex impressions per minute) digital duplex monochrome cut-sheet printer in the industry and Xerox’s proprietary Solid Ink technology for the office are examples of the type of breakthrough technology we developed and that we expect will drive future growth. Sustaining engineering expenses, which are the hardware engineering and software development costs we incur after we launch a product are included in our R,D&E expenses. We are incorporating by reference the amounts spent for research, development and engineering for 2007, 2006 and 2005 that are included in Note 1 – Summary of Significant Accounting Policies in the Consolidated Financial Statements in our 2007 Annual Report.
Patents, trademarks and licenses
We are a technology company. Including our Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) subsidiary, we were awarded 584 U.S. utility patents in 2007. We were ranked 33rd on the list of companies that were awarded the most U.S. patents during the year and would have been ranked 27th with the inclusion of PARC patents. Including our research partner, Fuji Xerox Co., Limited, we were awarded over 900 U.S. utility patents in 2007. Our patent portfolio evolves as new patents are awarded to us and as older patents expire. As of December 31, 2007, we held approximately 8,600 design and utility U.S. patents. These patents expire at various dates up to 20 years or more from their original filing dates. While we believe that our portfolio of patents and applications has value, in general no single patent is essential to our business or any individual segment. In addition, any of our proprietary rights could be challenged, invalidated, or circumvented or may not provide significant competitive advantages.
In the U.S., we are party to numerous patent-licensing agreements and, in a majority of them, we license or assign our patents to others, in return for revenue and/or access to their patents. Most of the patent licenses expire concurrently with the expiration of the last patent identified in the license. In 2007, including our PARC subsidiary, we added 9 agreements to our portfolio of patent licensing agreements, and either we or our PARC subsidiary was a licensor in 7 of the agreements. We also have a number of cross-licensing agreements with companies with substantial patent portfolios, including Canon, Microsoft, IBM, Hewlett Packard, Océ and Sharp. Those agreements vary in subject matter, scope, compensation, significance and time.
In the U.S., we own approximately 550 trademarks, either registered or applied for. These trademarks have a perpetual life, subject to renewal every ten years. We vigorously enforce and protect our trademarks.