PatSnap has launched its Electric Vehicle (EV) Intellectual Property (IP) Report 2018, which analyses PatSnap’s global dataset related to innovation in EVs. The report found a significant increase in global EV innovation over the past ten years, and predicts that there will be an expected 7,500 patent applications in 2018 – rising to 8,500 in 2020.
Looking at the IP data of modern innovators in the EV industry reveals signals about how this market, its players, and their technologies, are evolving.
Nearly two thirds of EV patent families have a first-filing in the USA (44%) or China (19%). Based on this activity, China and USA could strategically be key geographic locations for organisations to establish their patent footprint.
Excluding filings with the European Patent Office (9.3%), the UK is Europe’s top destination for EV patenting with 2.3% of initial patent filings. Luxembourg and Ireland have the highest relative specialisation in EV innovation globally, meaning that these could be important locations for bargain partnerships in licensing, open innovation and other opportunities not reflected in patent data.
The top five EV patenting companies include: Hyundai, Toyota, Kia Motors, Hitachi and General Motors. Hyundai has 4,821 patents. Activity has both grown and decreased amongst top applicants in recent years, suggesting that there is still scope for emerging organisations to establish and maintain leading positions. Experienced automotive companies are remaining diverse in their patenting activity while electronics companies tend to focus on fuel cells, batteries and power transfer technologies.
Looking specifically at unexpected key players in EV innovation, Robert Bosch, Samsung and Sony hold nearly 900 relevant patents between them, meaning that each of these companies hold relevant intangible assets that put them in a strong position to enter the EV market in future.
Qualcomm owns the most valuable patent in this area - US20130300358A1 - wireless power transfer for appliances and equipments. Due to the far-reaching scope of this technology, this patent is estimated to be worth over $43.4million, up $6 million in estimated value since December 2017.