The last few years have witnessed an increased interest in striking that perfect relationship between environmental sustainability and intellectual property. Such has been the advancement towards creating newer technology on “green pastures” that many companies have begun regarding a certain percentage of their patent portfolio as “green”. More so, several patent offices across the globe are also encouraging environment-friendly innovations by fast-tracking grants for patents on green technology. This is to help stimulate the quicker use of environmentally beneficial products and solutions.
The 2013 review report of the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index (CEPGI) has found that the year 2013 recorded the highest number of green patents being granted in the US. There were at least 3,175 green patents that received the green signal from the USPTO last year, resulting in a year-on-year increase of 114 from 2012. While the annual increase was relatively low compared to other years, it did retain a strong position in the overall patent sub-classification. At least 1,500 entities contributed towards clean energy patents in 2013, which crossed 2012 figures by hundreds.
It is interesting to note that in 2013, the number of patents granted in the Solar Energy sector was the highest with 965. At least 600 entities were granted patents in solar energy, with Samsung winning the most grants with 31 patents. SunPower came a close second with 28 patent grants. This was followed by patents from the Fuel Cell sector with 886. This was the first time that Solar-based patents crossed the numbers of Fuel Cell technology patent grants. In 2012, Fuel Cell patents stood strong at 1,024, with patents on Solar technology lagging much behind. The most number of patents in Fuel Cell were granted to General Motors (128), followed by Toyota that earned 110 patents and Samsung stood third in line with 69. Patents in Wind energy came a near third in interest with GE winning 66 patent grants and leading the chart. Mitsubishi was granted 54 patents in wind technology, followed by 47 to Vestas and 41 to Siemens.
Patents for electric vehicles made a leap from just 123 grants in 2012 to 409 in 2013. Riders and car enthusiasts, it’s time to keep a close watch on the environment-friendly automobile sector. You may land yourself into a great eco-vehicle deal.
Patents in biomass and biofuels also enjoyed a larger patent grant, coming fifth in tow with 226 patents. However, the largest annual growth was witnessed in Geothermal patents with a 50% increase. Tidal wave energy patent grants also rose by 34% from 2012.
And the winners are…
The graph below marks the green patenting trend of individual entities over a period of eleven years, from 2002 to 2013:
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