Advanced Energy Storage Technologies: Patent Trends and Company Positioning

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  • Dallas, TX (1888PressRelease) August 03, 2011 - Dr Victor Zhitomirsky of PatAnalyse and Dr Peter Harrop of IDTechEx have collaborated to produce the world's first computer analysis of the previously impenetrable patent thicket surrounding Advanced Energy Storage. A particular focus is electric vehicle technology such as traction batteries in general, lithium-ion traction batteries, supercapacitors/ ultracapacitors, battery management systems and charging. However, there is thorough coverage of lithium batteries and supercapacitors in general for those more widely interested in these topics. The results are startling. Some of the most respected giants of the industry are dismantling their R&D in order to pump money into production facilities just when the technology is rapidly changing. The company with a strong, broad patent portfolio, that is the fastest increasing one, is rarely mentioned in the press as a leader in this subject. Our measurements reveal that one giant landing the biggest orders rarely has its huge portfolio of patents cited, a warning on IP quality.

    Supercapacitors (ultracapacitors) have a surge in demand and interest from EV manufacturers. So why is supercapacitor patenting stagnant and why is Europe largely ignoring the subject? We reveal many other openings for newcomers and opportunities for giants to realign their research. We reveal the most prolific inventors and the fine details of patent trends in many aspects of anode and cathode chemistry for example. Our sophisticated computer analysis provides the first clarity on the very different technological emphasis of the research being carried out by a host of companies and research organisations worldwide. We give our expert opinion on this.

    Report scope

    The patent search strategy has been carefully developed via several rounds of iteration. As a rule of thumb, it takes at least five years from invention to the first product on the market. In order to focus on the `hidden' R&D efforts which have not yet materialised as new products on the market, the initial study has been restricted to patents with a priority date from 2005. However because of a significant increase in the rate of patenting in this area, this initial patent portfolio contains over half of all patents with a priority from 1990 in this area.
    About 2,800 original Assignee names from the original bibliographic records were combined into 200 Top Assignees. The proprietary de-duplication algorithm aggregated about 12,000 simple patent families from about 40,000 national patents. Only 3% of the patent families have been left unassigned and it was further found that about 12% of the patent portfolio is assigned to small players with fewer than one invention per year. The remaining 85% of the patent portfolio is assigned to about 250 companies with about 66% of the patent portfolio assigned to the top 50 companies in terms of patenting. Almost a hundred Patent Maps have been provided in the report to facilitate the detailed understanding of various aspects of the patent landscape.

    Report in figures
    Patents screened 100,000
    Patents classified 40,000
    Patent codes searched 2,600
    Inventors searched 1,200
    Keyword used 1,250
    Assignee searched 110

    "PatAnalyse offers a really intelligent way to cope with the huge volume of patent information available worldwide." Dr. Bakuri Lanchava, European Patent Attorney

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