Posts Tagged: "electric vehicles"

China is the New Hub for Wireless Charging Technology

With a growing number of users and increased demand for consumer electronics, smart-wearables, electric vehicles, Internet-of-Things (IoT) and Internet-of-Everything (IoET), the need for powering such devices and for hassle free charging has to keep pace with this rapid growth. “Wireless Charging” is the process of electrically charging battery-powered devices and equipment without the need for a wired electrical power connection. Broadly speaking, it includes three sub-types of charging: Inductive Charging, Resonance Charging, and Radio Charging.

Patent Trends Study Part Five: Automotive Industry

It has been a wild decade for the automotive industry, with U.S. auto brands almost dying in the Great Recession. Federal government intervention rescued brands and attempted to turn them toward efficiency instead of profitable large SUVs. Although there has been a steep increase in patent filings in the automotive space, U.S. companies have a smaller proportion of them, indicating global forces are a major threat. This is especially acute in the area of electric propulsion, where our early patent lead has plateaued. Many of the car brands and battery innovators have been sold to Chinese interests who are moving quickly with government support to dominate the car industry, at least for electric vehicles (EVs). Our study not only identified a set of applications that pertained to this industry, but also—for each application in this set—we determined whether the application pertained to one or more of the categories shown in the topology below. If so, the application was appropriately tagged, such that it could be included in one or more category-specific data subsets for subsequent analysis.

House Energy Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Energy Storage for Improved Grid Reliability in Rural Communities and Renewables

The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy recently convened a hearing titled Powering America: The Role of Energy Storage in the Nation’s Electricity System. The day’s hearing focused on the current state of energy storage systems operating across the country as well as challenges facing the further deployment of technologies designed to reduce strain on the electrical grid while meeting consumer demands for energy.

Nikola Accuses Tesla of Design Patent Infringement on Aerodynamic Truck Cabin Features

On April 30th, alternative fuel vehicle manufacturer Nikola Corporation filed a complaint alleging claims of design patent infringement against electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc. Filed in the District of Arizona, Nikola’s complaint accuses Tesla of copying various elements of design patents held by Nikola in the area of heavy duty semi truck cabin design.

Ford receives record number of U.S. patents during 2016 after consistent increases in R&D

Dearborn, MI-based automaker Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) recently issued a press release, which heralded the 1,442 patents granted to the company by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office during 2016, a total which Ford says is the most among any automaker filing for U.S. patents that year. That total marks the largest number of U.S. patents awarded to Ford in any one calendar year, a 25 percent increase over 2015 which was itself a record year for Ford patent application filings. Globally, Ford received 3,200 patents grants during 2016.

Clean energy patent market may offer significant financial gains

With an increase in the number of patents being issued for clean energy technologies, it’s not surprising to see predictions of increased patent litigation in the sector. Patent infringement cases in the clean energy sector have already involved many of the industry’s top companies, including Westinghouse Solar, Zep Solar, DuPont (NYSE:DD) and SunEdison. Although patent issuances have exploded in that field, the market isn’t nearly as crowded as smartphones and other industries where a much higher number of patents have issued, making those sectors more visible to NPEs. With the renewed calls for both private and public investment into clean energy R&D in the wake of the Paris climate change conference, it’s clear to see that intellectual property owners who can successfully navigate the patent market could make significant financial gains.

The Top 10 Patent Applications of 2015

Innovation in the automotive sector was a huge story, both for the types of technologies being developed and the companies pursuing the R&D in that field. Drones and robotics also played a role in other top patent applications which we’re profiling today. Rounding out our list of top 2015 innovations includes an emotion analysis system for financial security, wireless charging schemes, low-power communications for wearable devices and a greenhouse window that can generate electricity while improving crop yield.

Looking back on 2015, autonomous and electric vehicles dominate car tech headlines

In many ways, 2015 has been the year of the automobile, especially in the tech world. Throughout the course of the year we’ve noted a great deal of business and technological developments that have been reshaping the entire vehicle manufacturing sector. Gone are the days that the market is completely dominated by names such as General Motors Company, Ford Motor Company or Toyota Motor Corp. As 2015 draws to a close, these traditional automaker behemoths are seeing encroachment on their position from some unusual names, especially those residing in Silicon Valley.

Tech News Roundup: Bezos and Musk Square Off, LED ‘Li-Fi’ Internet and VTech Data Breach

Our latest Tech Round-Up here on IPWatchdog takes a brief glance at many of the stories which have caught our attention in recent days. As he often does, Elon Musk takes center-stage in a couple of news items regarding challenges he’ll be facing in the realms of space travel as well as electric vehicles. In Europe, the first successful installation of light-based wireless Internet could be the first step in a new age of Internet connectivity. Data breaches and genetically modified foods round out our discussion of recent events in the worlds of high-tech and science.

In the global race for Electric Vehicle innovation, America tops Japan for first place

When looking specifically at patents that specifically mention “electric vehicles,” it looks as though there are reasons to feel good about America’s place in the world. Both Ford and General Motors Company are atop the leaderboard in this sector, placing first and second overall respectively. One Ford technology developed to allow electric vehicle owners to make sure that electricity drawn from a vehicle comes from renewable sources is outlined within U.S. Patent No. 9024571, entitled ‘Charging of Electric Vehicles Based on Historical Clean Energy Profiles.’ General Motors is hoping to change the perception that Electric Vehicles are capable of only short range use, as evident by recently issued U.S. Patent No. 9002552, titled “Compact Electric Range Extender for an Electric Vehicle.”

Fuel cell vehicle development increases despite EV dominance in alternative fuel car market

Car manufacturers around the world tend to fall into either the EV or the FCV camp when assessing their developments in alternative fuel-powered vehicles. There are far more players in the electric vehicle field, which is headed up by Nissan Motor Company (TYO:7201) and Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA). In 2014, those two companies accounted for nearly 60,000 new vehicle sales, about half of all new electric vehicle sales that year. Other car makers developing electric vehicles include BMW, Ford, Mitsubishi and Volkswagen. Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM) occupies the lead position among hydrogen fuel cell vehicle makers in terms of development. This January, we profiled Toyota’s decision to offer cost-free licensing of nearly 6,000 hydrogen fuel cell patents only a few months after Tesla decided to completely open source the few hundred EV patents it holds in its corporate portfolio.

Wireless induction charging is coming to electric vehicles

Wireless charging systems are also being designed for use inside the car so that passengers find it easier to keep their smartphones charged over the course of a long road trip. In 2013, the Toyota Avalon was the first vehicle to offer an in-car wireless charging system for mobile devices. Similar options are also available for new Toyota Priuses, Jeep Cherokees and Dodge Darts. The majority of these in-car wireless charging systems utilize the Qi standard developed by the WPC.

Ford patent licensing announcement may signal end of NIH bias in auto industry

In the automotive industry, it seems as though companies cannot give their patents away fast enough. The firesale began in earnest last June when Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk announced to the world that neither he nor his company would enforce their patent rights on innovations made using their lithium-ion battery technologies. This decision to open source about 200 U.S. patents was bested in January of this year when Japanese auto manufacturer Toyota released a portfolio of more than 5,500 patents in the area of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles through a cost-free licensing program. Most recently, Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) has joined this collaborative jamboree, announcing that it would facilitate licensing of more than 650 patents and about 1,000 patent applications in the field of electric vehicles (EVs).

Open Innovation for the Electric Vehicle Market

Ford and Tesla have offered their patents for licensing in the hope of increasing electric vehicle (EV) adoption and improving the supporting infrastructure. In contrast, Toyota is banking on fuel cell vehicle (FCV) technology. The broader automotive innovation game is being won by “connected cars” at the moment because consumers are unwilling to pay more for physical car features, but they are influenced by software related innovations. Technology companies are now entering the car sector with their own EVs. This is leading to competition to access the talent needed to drive innovation and a willingness to open up technology investments. By opening their patent portfolio, Ford could be sharing their existing inventions in the hope that their technology is adopted more quickly and of acquiring the talent needed to be at the forefront of innovation.

Japan Automakers Focus on Electric Vehicles, Hybrid Vehicles & Collision Warning

The most recent patent applications published show that development of electric and hybrid electric vehicles are prominent among all three. Some of these patent applications describe novel applications of known energy generation and storage technologies, including air batteries and solar cells, to automobile environments. Self-driving cars manufactured by Toyota will benefit from a technology designed to improve the accuracy of determining a car’s actual location on the road. These three corporations each have strong patent portfolios which have increased in recent weeks and we took special notice of a couple of patents issued in the field of fuel cell technologies. Honda has earned the right to protect an indoor vehicle that drives in response to the tilting motion of a seated rider. We also feature two patents directed towards safety systems which are designed to provide warnings to drivers in response to potential road hazards.