Joy­oung in­vests in R&D, in­no­va­tion se­cu­rity

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - IP SPECIAL - By WANG XIN

As the suc­cess sto­ries of Chi­nese manned space­flights are up­lift­ing the na­tion, kitchen ap­pli­ance maker Joy­oung has po­si­tioned it­self in close prox­im­ity to the space ex­plo­ration he­roes.

The com­pany is head­quar­tered in Ji­nan, Shan­dong prov­ince in East China. It has been se­lected to pro­vide pro­pri­etary tech­no­log­i­cal so­lu­tions to pro­vide heated food and drink­ing wa­ter in a space­craft in 2020.

Be­ing tasked with the space kitchen pro­gram is a clear en­dorse­ment of Joy­oung’s con­sis­tent pur­suit of health and safety through in­no­va­tion, in­dus­try in­sid­ers said.

Since it cre­ated the world’s first house­hold soy milk maker in 1994, the com­pany has main­tained its No 1 rank­ing by mar­ket shares in the seg­ment.

To date, it has de­vel­oped a di­verse prod­uct port­fo­lio, in­clud­ing food pro­ces­sors, juice ex­trac­tors, in­duc­tion cook­ers and elec­tric pres­sure pots.

The com­pany gen­er­ated more than 7.3 bil­lion yuan ($1.07 bil­lion) in sales last year, of which new prod­ucts con­trib­uted roughly 76 per­cent, or 5.6 bil­lion yuan.

It spends the equiv­a­lent of 3 per­cent of its av­er­age an­nual busi­ness rev­enue on re­search and de­vel­op­ment, said Han Run, vice-pres­i­dent of Joy­oung.

“With­out in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty sup­port and pro­tec­tion, we couldn’t reach where we are,” she said.

The com­pany has more than 3,000 patents, in­clud­ing 50 granted over­seas. Ap­prox­i­mately one-third of them re­late to its sig­na­ture soy milk maker line. Joy­oung filed 1,020 patent ap­pli­ca­tions in 2016, in­clud­ing 15 in­ter­na­tional fil­ings via the Patent Co­op­er­a­tion Treaty.

“IP is our core as­set,” Han said. “It is the driv­ing force be­hind our com­pany’s sus­tain­able growth.”

Joy­oung has pre­vailed over its op­po­nents in more than 100 patent dis­putes in re­cent years, in­clud­ing some in­volv­ing in­ter­na­tional in­dus­trial lead­ers, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany.

Cheng Lingjun, IP di­rec­tor at Joy­oung, said: “High-value patents are gen­er­ally the tech­no­log­i­cal so­lu­tions to the dif­fi­cul­ties fac­ing the whole in­dus­try.”

Be­fore 1999, most house­hold soy­bean milk-mak­ing ma­chines were laid aside after they were used two or three times, be­cause “it was hard to get them clean,” Cheng re­called.

The rea­son was the dif­fi­culty in con­trol­ling the tem­per­a­ture when they were work­ing, which also af­fected the soy milk’s taste, he said.

Joy­oung re­searchers de­vel­oped a patented tem­per­a­ture­sens­ing struc­ture to ad­dress the prob­lem, turn­ing around the en­tire sec­tor.

The com­pany’s tech­nolo­gies con­cern­ing soy milk mak­ers have ex­pe­ri­enced 19 ma­jor up­grades over the past 23 years, each time re­in­forc­ing Joy­oung’s lead­ing po­si­tion in the in­dus­try, Cheng added.

It takes a Joy­oung ma­chine eight min­utes to make a glass of soy milk from soy­beans. With com­puter-con­trolled tech­nolo­gies and ac­cess to Wi-Fi ser­vices, users can use their smart­phones to set the time and tem­per­a­ture for warm­ing their soy milk for to­mor­row morn­ing.

The com­pany’s strong in­no­va­tion ca­pac­i­ties en­abled it to be­come a gold award win­ner at the 2015 WIPO-SIPO Awards for Out­stand­ing Chi­nese Patented In­ven­tions and In­dus­trial De­signs, the coun­try’s top patent awards.

The in­ter­na­tional stan­dards for soy milk mak­ers ini­ti­ated by Joy­oung were re­leased by the In­ter­na­tional Elec­trotech­ni­cal Com­mis­sion in 2012, the first of its kind from a small ap­pli­ance man­u­fac­turer in China.

Other in­ter­na­tional stan­dards for­mu­lated by the com- pany in­volve noo­dle mak­ers, which were re­leased by the IEC in 2016.

“All our in­no­va­tions re­volve around sat­is­fy­ing con­sumers’ needs,” Cheng said. “Our re­search foc us is al­ways tar­geted at what they need most.”

Its prod­uct lineup also in­cludes Ti­betan but­ter tea mak­ers and a type of elec­tric fry­ing cooker with more than 100 in-built func­tions.

The cooker can com­plete a dish within a few min­utes while pre vent­ing smoke, which is hard to achieve when mak­ing tra­di­tional Chi­nese fried dishes.

Such in­no­va­tions, based on Asian diet va­ri­eties, have helped to ease the strains of fast-paced ur­ban life, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany.

of Joy­oung’s an­nual sales rev­enue is in­vested in re­search and de­vel­op­ment This page is jointly pub­lished by the State In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Of­fice and China Daily. To com­ment or con­trib­ute, please e-mail ipr@chi­ or con­tact ed­i­tors at +86-10-6499 5774.


A sales­man in­tro­duces Joy­oung prod­ucts to con­sumers in a home ap­pli­ance store in Bei­jing.

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