The battery domain combines major markets with an increasing and diversifying number of innovations and involved companies. What were the main patents, technologies and competitive trends in 2017?
BATTERY IP ACTIVITY IS BOOMING ALONG WITH THE MARKET
Worldwide demand for energy storage devices has been booming since the 2000s, leading to a very dynamic battery market. The number of battery applications is diversifying and growing to span portable consumer devices, electronic devices, electric vehicles and smart grids. Each of them requires specific performance levels in areas including capacity, energy density, power density, self-discharge, stability, operating temperatures, morphologies/weight, safety, and cost constraints. Thus, batteries have attracted significant research attention at all supply chain levels, including electrodes, electrolytes, separators, cells, packs and systems over the last 10 years, resulting in intensive patenting activity, with a substantial increase in recent years. More than 300,000 patent families(1) related to batteries have been published worldwide since the early 1990s. In 2017, more than 30,400 new patent families were published, over 30,900 patents were granted, and over 6,400 patents expired. In such a fast-growing and dynamic battery market, it is essential to track patents in order to anticipate changes, quickly detect business opportunities, and identify emerging research areas and cutting-edge technology developments.
In this report, we reveal the main trends for battery-related intellectual property (IP) from 2017. We show an overview of recent patenting activity, specifically new patent applications, granted patents and expired patents and the main patent applicants, the major patent litigation, and the hot technological topics of the year. We do this for each supply chain segment and each battery technology, including Li-ion, Ni-MH, redox flow, Li-Air, Li-S, Na-ion and Mg-ion batteries. The report includes a special focus on the most interesting patents of the year.
(1) A patent family is a set of patents filed in multiple countries by a common inventor(s) to protect a single invention.
This report details the two ways R&D players meet market performance expectations: improving existing battery technologies and developing new battery technologies. Nowadays, lead-acid batteries and Li-ion Batteries lead the battery market. Li-ion batteries are a mature technology but their performance can still be improved and costs reduced, leading to thriving IP activity. Other technologies include Ni-MH battery, commercialized for automotive and consumer applications, redox flow, aqueous Na-ion and Na-S batteries for stationary applications and Zn-air batteries for medical devices. In recent years, new battery technologies have been developed, including organic Na-ion, Li-S, Li-Air, Mg-ion and Al-ion batteries, and could be commercialized within the next 20 years. The report details patenting activity in all these technologies.
USEFUL PATENT DATABASE (OVER 40,900 PATENT FAMILIES)
The report also includes an Excel database containing over 40,900 patent families of the main patent assignees related to the key battery technologies. This useful patent database allows multi-criteria searches, including patent numbers, priority/publication dates, patent assignees, titles, abstracts, claims, legal status of patents, hyperlinks to original documents, and technical segmentations, namely electrode, electrolyte, separator, battery cell, battery pack/system, Li-ion, Ni-MH, Redox flow, Lead, Li-Air, Li-S, Na-ion, Mg-ion and solid-state.
2018 BATTERY PATENT WATCH SERVICE: GET UPDATED DATA ON BATTERY PATENT ACTIVITY
With the booming number of companies involved in battery IP and the proliferation of battery technologies, take advantage of quarterly updated Excel file including the newly published, granted or expired patents from the past three months, plus the latest patent transfers and noteworthy news on patent litigation. The patents will be categorized by supply chain segments, spanning electrode, electrolyte, separator, battery cell and battery pack/system, and battery technologies, specifically Li-ion, Ni-MH, Redox flow, Lead, Li-Air, Li-S, Na-ion, Mg-ion, solid-state, thin film/flexible, lithium metal electrode, NMC cathode for Lithium battery and Silicon anode for Lithium battery. This useful patent database allows for multi-criteria searches on patent numbers, priority dates, patent assignees, titles, abstracts, claims, legal status of patents and hyperlinks to original documents, and also includes several charts highlighting the main IP trends of the past three months for each technical segment, such as patent applicants.
Keep a watch on your competitors’ IP activities and their future intentions.
With the help of the patent watch service, you will be aware of your competitors’ current patenting activities, their IP dynamics, patent transfers including acquisitions and licenses, patent litigation, technology development and R&D strategies. You will also be able to rapidly detect new entrants in your business area .
Keep track of the latest technology developments and follow technology trends.
By keeping note of any recent patent filings, you can track the newest innovations in the battery field. You will get details on claimed inventions and you can follow technology developments. New technical solutions could inspire and improve your R&D activity.
Prevent registration of IP rights that may be harmful to your business.
You will obtain information on patent applications filed even before exclusive rights have been granted and you can react in time to prevent registration of IP rights that may be harmful to your business.
React in time to infringements and mitigate legal risks.
Monitoring both newly-issued patents and patent litigation allows you to regularly assess your freedom-to-operate, ensuring your products or processes are not covered by granted patents and thus they can be manufactured, sold or used safely without infringing valid IP rights owned by others.
Take advantage of free technologies and decrease R&D project risks.
By tracking both expired patents and abandoned patents, you will be able to identify inventions entering the public domain that you can use safely for your development.