Fuel Cell Today Publishes the 2012 Fuel Cell Patent Review

20 Dec 2012

2011 showed appreciable increases in both fuel cell patent applications and granted patents published during the year. While the overall numbers increased, the regional dominance by a few key countries, such as Japan, USA, Germany and Korea, was maintained.

The dominance shown by certain regions in the geographical split is also linked to the type of companies patenting fuel cell technology. The automotive industry is strong in these countries and companies such as Honda and General Motors lead the 2011 list of top ten fuel cell patents by company.

Automotive fuel cell technology is expected to reach commercialisation during the next three years, and the five automotive companies in the top ten are all developing products for sale. The continued success of residential micro-CHP, led by Japanese manufacturers, will also keep companies such as Panasonic at the top of the patent statistics as it further optimises its product for sale both domestically and overseas.

China has emerged as a country of interest to fuel cell manufacturers with a significant percentage of granted patents in 2010 and 2011 including China as a named country. If we look back over the past ten years, typically less than 1% of granted patents included China, but a shift has taken place in the industry with a strong emphasis on IP protection in China.

Read the full report here.


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