The Clean Energy Patent Growth Index (CEPGI) is a quarterly patent tracking service operated by the Heslin Rothenberg law firm.Â
According to CEPGI’s 2008 4th quarter report, 2008 saw the most issued cleanÂ energy patents of any year since the index began in 2002.Â This despite the 2008 first quarter numbers being down from the first quarter the previous year and lowerÂ than in the fourth quarter of 2007 (see my previous post on the CEPGI 2008 first quarter report here).Â
CEPGI recorded 928 granted cleanÂ energy patents last year, up from about 700 in 2002.Â Patents in wind, fuel cells, hydroelectric, tidal and geothermal technologies all increased from 2007 to 2008, with new highs for hydroelectric and tidal.
Fuel cell technology continues to be by far the most crowded field, but wind patents have grown the most, rising from 42 patents issued in 2002 to 155 issued in 2008.
As to who owns all these patents, it is the automobile industry that dominated the list in 2008, including Honda (57 patents), General Motors (55), Toyota (30) and Nissan (24).Â
Since 2002, Honda, GM, Toyota and Nissan are in the top ten along with Ford and such fuel cell makers as UTC Fuel Cells, Ballard Power Systems and Plug Power.
Rounding out the top ten are General Electric, with mostly wind and solar patents, and Canon, with solar technology.
The top universities in the last eight yearsÂ are the University of California, withÂ 34 clean energy patents, and the California Institute of Technology, withÂ 22.
The CEPGI reports contain all kinds of information and analysis and provideÂ useful periodic snapshots of this hotÂ area.