Clean Energy Patent Index Finds 2008 Was Record Year

The Clean Energy Patent Growth Index (CEPGI) is a quarterly patent tracking service operated by the Heslin Rothenberg law firm. 

According to CEPGI’s 2008 4th quarter report, 2008 saw the most issued clean energy patents of any year since the index began in 2002.  This despite the 2008 first quarter numbers being down from the first quarter the previous year and lower than in the fourth quarter of 2007 (see my previous post on the CEPGI 2008 first quarter report here). 

CEPGI recorded 928 granted clean energy patents last year, up from about 700 in 2002.  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). 

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 years are the University of California, with 34 clean energy patents, and the California Institute of Technology, with 22.

The CEPGI reports contain all kinds of information and analysis and provide useful periodic snapshots of this hot area.

Eric Lane Avatar

Eric Lane

Eric Lane, the founder and principal of Green Patent Law, is an intellectual property lawyer and registered U.S. patent attorney in New York and is a member of the bar in New York and California. Eric has more than two decades of experience working with wind, solar PV, CSP, biofuels, and geothermal, energy storage technologies, carbon capture and sequestration, medical devices, data communications, mechanical, chemical, internet and software.