Green Patent Acquisitions: Buying Up Energy Management and Distribution and Green Chemistry


There have been a few interesting acquisitions this month.  First, energy efficiency solutions provider Serious Energy bought Agilewaves, a Silicon Valley startup that specializes in energy data storage and retrieval.

Agilewaves owns at least one published U.S. patent application, Application No. 2010/0211618, entitled “Efficient storage of data allowing for multiple level granularity retrieval” (‘618 Application). 

The ‘618 Application is directed to methods for storing and retrieving data at multiple levels of granularity.  In the described methods, time series data are organized based on associated time stamps corresponding to a timeline (202). 

The data also may be sorted at multiple resolutions, including rows (212, 218, 222, 224) representing the highest resolution storage of time series data down to the lowest resolution view of the data.  Each level of resolution has values stored in segments (204-211, 213-216, 219-220).

According to the ‘618 Application, the invention is superior to prior art systems, which stored individual readings over long periods of time and required a lot of time to retrieve it all. 

This system makes data retrieval more efficient than those prior systems because data can be retrieved from individual segments:

Storing the time series data in the format illustrated by FIG. 2 allows for efficient retrieval of data.  For example, if a user requests time series data over the time period from 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., a processor may simply retrieve the data value associated with segment 219 from a database instead of having to retrieve and add the data values associated with segments 204-207.  This saves time and processing resources at the time the data is requested.

According to this Greentech Media story, the deal brings Serious Energy “a whole new level of granular building energy data.”


Another notable acquisition is power and automation technologies giant ABB’s purchase of Australian renewable power automation company Powercorp (see Powercorp’s press release here).  Powercorp makes controls to manage renewable energy in isolated grids and allow grid penetration of wind and solar power.

Powercorp owns at least one international patent application, WO 2004/027959, entitled “System and method for stabilising a power system” (‘959 Application).

The ‘959 Application is directed to systems and methods involving a power system stabilizer (19) for stabilizing a power generation system (9) having a grid (11) supplying power to numerous loads (17). 

The power generation system (9) comprises a renewable energy generator (13) using a renewable energy source and a conventional energy generator (15) using a conventional energy source.

The power system stabilizer (19) includes a link (29) for electrically connecting the grid interface (21) and the load interface (25). 

Control means responds to data from sensors to control of the flow of electrical energy between the grid interface (21) and the load interface (25) to maintain the property of the power generation system (9) at a predetermined value to stabilize the system.

This deal shows that renewables integration is a priority for ABB.

Finally, Fremont, California, biofuels company Amyris bought green chemical startup Draths, which makes bio-based nylon and polyester. 

The company provides a convenient summary list of its IP, which includes two U.S. patents and several published patent applications.  One example is U.S. Patent No. 7,399,855, entitled “Synthesis of caprolactam from lysine” (‘855 Patent). 

The ‘855 Patent is directed to methods of making caprolactam, one of the company’s product offerings.  According to Draths’ product web page, the caprolactam monomer can be used to make 100% bio-based nylon.


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.