Ford Motors recently opened its electric vehicle patent portfolio to competitors.

As for batteries, Ford’s worldwide battery module patent portfolio grew by 65% from the first to second quarter in 2015. This was a 438% year over year increase!

Based on categorized patent data in the Advanced Battery & Capacitor PatentEdge, IP Checkups determined that Ford is a leader when it comes to state of charge innovation, with 27 new U.S. patent applications published in Q2 2015.

Below is a preview of recent published patent applications from Ford’s battery patent portfolio as of Q2 2015.  Access Ford’s published advanced battery patent portfolio with a subscription to ABC PatentEdge.

Ford State of Charge Patent Applications Q2


Custom patent searches? Competitive patent landscape analysis? IP Checkups serves as a strategic patent resource that aligns your patent portfolio with business objectives.

Contact our team today to find out how IP Checkups can improve your company’s patent strategy.

Are you a CalCharge member seeking an overview of recent patent activity in the advanced battery space?

Join IP Checkups and our partner, CalCharge, for a webinar on the state of battery IP on Wednesday, June 24, 2015. IP Checkups will present the latest on NPEs, trending areas for innovation, new entrants, leading innovators, and overall patent activity in advanced battery technology.

Also learn about the ABC PatentEdge, a proprietary software tool used to generate these insights.

Register for this exclusive CalCharge-only webinar here.

Questions? Send us a note.  IP Checkups is happy to help!


At the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Toyota announced it would grant access to 5,680 fuel cell vehicle (FCV) technology patents. This idea of offering a royalty free patent license to competitors is novel, however it is not the first time we’re seeing an auto manufacturer open source its patent portfolio to drive mass adoption of an alternative vehicle technology. Tesla released its patents to the public in June 2014, however, Toyota seems to have disclosed more details around its open source program. According to Toyota’s press release, Toyota’s FCV-related patents will be available to companies manufacturing and selling fuel cell vehicles on a royalty-free basis through the initial market introduction period, anticipated to continue through 2020.

By sharing its FCV patent portfolio, equivalent to 20 years of research and development, Toyota hopes to spur innovation and development of a hydrogen-based automobile economy. Hydrogen fueling infrastructure is a necessary component for FCVs. With slow FCV adoption and high infrastructure costs, FCVs face many challenges ahead, hurdles similar to those that electric vehicles (EV) are dealing with. When EVs initially launched, manufacturers first created demand, then slowly rolled out charging stations. With most, if not all of the major automobile manufacturers currently offering or soon to be offering EV models, adoption of electric vehicles has been increasing. There are now more charging stations than ever before, yet it appears that EVs have a long way to go before electric charging infrastructure is comparable to that of traditional gas stations.

Similar to Tesla, Toyota is opening up its patents to the competition in order to promote mass adoption for FCV technology, which certainly generated positive feedback from a PR standpoint. If electric vehicle adoption is a guide, it will likely be a few years before there is significant demand to justify the cost of building expensive hydrogen fueling infrastructure.

According to IP Checkups’ CleanTech PatentEdge™, there are more than 31,000 worldwide* fuel cell-related patent documents within the past five years. In that same period, General Motors has led the fuel cell category in published patent applications (EPA & USA) over Toyota, with Honda following closely behind.

Fuel Cell Vehicle Published Applications - CleanTech PatentEdge

5 Year Fuel Cell Vehicle Published Patent Application Activity by Major Automotive Companies


CleanTech PatentEdge analytics - FCV docs 20yr

Fuel Cell Vehicle Patent Document Leaders: 20 Years

For Toyota and its FCV patent offering, it is too early to tell whether or not it will actually kick-start additional FCV innovation, which would ultimately benefit Toyota. Without a competitive market and robust product sales, these technologies would be doomed. Considering the time and costs associated with establishing a hydrogen distribution infrastructure as well as the lack of serious competition from other auto manufacturers, opening up its patents appears to be a relatively low risk move. It could be a long time before Toyota realizes a return on its investment and in the meantime it lowers the barrier to entry for competitors. However skeptical one may be about this new seemingly expensive technology, Toyota does have a track record of bringing change to a traditional market and attracting early adopters. In any case, IP Checkups will be tracking activity of fuel cell vehicle innovation. Stay tuned!

Want access to Toyota and its competitors’ fuel cell vehicle technology patents?  Subscribe to the CleanTech PatentEdge database to view fuel cell patents or the Advanced Battery PatentEdge for energy storage technology patents.






*Worldwide = U.S. published applications, granted US patents, European (EP) published applications, European (EP) granted patents, World Intellectual Property Organization (WO) published applications

BERKELEY, CA (November 18, 2014) – For the past 30 years, Panasonic has dominated the graphite anode patent landscape. Traditionally, LG Chem and Samsung have been among the top five graphite anode patent filers but have trailed behind Panasonic; however, within the past five years, these two competitors outpaced Panasonic’s graphite anode patent application activity. As advanced battery innovations are expected to accelerate, how will you keep up with new patents and technologies?

BERKELEY, CA – IP Checkups, a boutique patent analytics firm, is pleased to announce the launch of its advanced battery custom reports and patent alerts. IP Checkups’ expert analysts have developed four custom patent solutions based on data from Advanced Battery & Capacitor PatentEdge™ that make it easy to:

  • Keep track of new entrants and new innovations
  • Closely monitor specific competitors and track new battery developments
  • Follow new technologies filed by top battery companies
  • Stay current with the latest technical innovations in batteries

IP Checkups has tracked more than 50 new entrants that have recently filed patent applications in graphite anodes. Find out who else is innovating in graphite anodes by downloading our free sample reports.

IP Checkups’ expert analysts have developed four custom patent solutions based on data from ABC PatentEdge™.

      • Top Companies Report
      • New Entrants Report
      • Competitor Innovation Report
      • Patent Alerts

Designed to make identifying and analyzing battery industry trends a breeze, IP Checkups’ custom reports combine qualitative analysis with quantitative analytics to help quickly assess the competitive patent landscape. Keeping track of new entrants, monitoring competitor activity, and keeping up with technical innovations is now easier than ever. IP Checkups’ advanced batteries custom reports and alerts showcase the following:

  • Patent ownership, key inventors, and patent filing rates
  • New developments in advanced battery technology
  • The size of the market and who owns what share
  • Which markets have a high potential for growth
  • Both established players and emerging entities in your battery industry sector and where they have focused their recent innovation
  • The depth of your competitors’ battery patent portfolio
  • Technological innovation and broad market trends for strategic planning, business development, and efficient R&D targeting

IP Checkups’ patent alerts are sent weekly so recipients have the latest battery innovations and know when competitors are on the move. Custom reports are updated on a quarterly basis and provide you with a quick and easy way to gain insight into high-level competitive intelligence issues related to patent ownership, patent filing activity, and competitive positioning.

Curious to see what these reports look like? You’re in luck! Sample reports are available for free download. Find out more information at or email us at


The Competitor Innovation sample report displays patent activity from Samsung, LG Chem, Kureha, Sumitomo, and Panasonic in graphite anode technology through June 30, 2014.  Please note that for your custom report you specify which competitors to monitor.  Order your custom Competitor Innovation report and start tracking your competitors today!

ABC PatentEdge database is updated weekly.  Below is a brief list of recent patents in graphite anodes assigned to one of the five sample competitors.

ABC Sample Report - Patents from Competitor Detail

Additional patent data such as application numbers, filing dates, abstracts, regions, inventors, class codes, and current assignees are accessible with a subscription to ABC PatentEdge.

Contact IP Checkups for more information on our custom services and battery technology patent solutions. 



Curious about recent advanced battery patent activity? Using patent data from ABC PatentEdge, we have developed The Advanced Battery Technology: Patent Update Report, that provides an up-to-date overview of worldwide patent activity in the battery industry through the end of Q2 2014.

Did you know:

  • Patent filings in the battery industry have increased at an average annual growth rate of 31% over the past decade.
  • Patent activity from the top five companies (Toyota, LG Chem, Panasonic, Samsung, and Bosch) account for less than 20% of the over 153,000 battery patents filed in the last decade.

Find out who else is filing battery-related patents and what technologies are on the rise in our free report.

Battery Update image

Need an in-depth report in a particular battery sector?  Contact us at 510.225.1162 or for custom reports and other patent solutions.

As consumers anxiously await the release of Apple’s iPhone 6, innovators in the battery industry continue to develop new technologies for the next generation of smartphones.  Two teams of scientists, from Nokia and Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), are working collaboratively to develop an energy-harvesting prototype that could charge mobile phones using sounds such as everyday background noise.

How is this possible? According to Nokia, the answer is through nanotechnology and zinc oxide. Crystalline zinc oxide is a piezoelectric material that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. Scientists from the Nokia/QMUL team transformed zinc oxide into nanorods, suitable to coat almost any surface. When condensed or stretched, these nanorods generate high voltage. To produce a strong enough charge for a mobile device, electrical contacts are placed on both sides of the rods, which transform sound vibrations into energy and capture the charge.

While Nokia and Queen Mary University of London have been experimenting with zinc oxide, so have many others. According to our database, more than 100 zinc oxide battery patents have published in the U.S. in the last two months alone. A quick search for “zinc oxide” and “harvesting energy” revealed more than a dozen patent applications published within the last year focused on energy harvesting and mobile device charging methods.

Image Credit: Nokia

Image Credit: Nokia

After a brief search in the ABC PatentEdge, IP Checkups did not find a published patent application associated with this innovation assigned to Nokia and/or Queen Mary University of London.  Our search did reveal European patent number EP2008317A1, “A METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR HARVESTING ENERGY FROM MECHANICAL VIBRATIONS”, assigned to Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO); however, this patent focuses primarily on electronics, not materials.

Will this experiment of using sound to create energy succeed in time for the next big Microsoft/Nokia phone release?  Or will another company beat them to it? Follow ABC PatentEdge for the latest news and innovations in the battery industry.

Top Companies

The markets and materials sectors were key areas in battery innovation for the top patent filing companies between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014. Below are a handful of patents assigned to the top companies.

For complete access to all patents assigned to top companies, subscribe to the ABC PatentEdge database.

Top Companies Sample

Top Inventors

Below are a few patents by inventors who have led battery technology innovation with the most patent documents from July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014.

For complete access to all patents by these inventors, subscribe to the ABC PatentEdge database.

Inventor List

Top Companies: Separators

More than 400  U.S. patent applications related to separators published between July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014.  Olefins and plastics were the primary focus of these companies’ innovation, though LG Chem also appears to have a strong interest in cellulosic separators. LG Chem was the clear leader in separator patenting. 

Below is a handful of patents that were added to LG Chem’s portfolio last year.  For complete access to all separator-related patents,  subscribe  to the ABC PatentEdge database.

Separators - LG Chem
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