GENEVA, 17 May 2022 (WAM) — Innovation in transportation-related hydrogen fuel cell technology has been booming since 2016, with China, Japan and Germany being the top sources of patent applications for technology that can power vehicles without creating harmful emissions. to global climate change, says a new report from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
The global transportation sector is responsible for about a quarter of all direct carbon emissions, but the recent and rapid adoption of electric vehicles and other indicators show that consumers are ready to embrace technological advances that help fight climate change, the report says.
One of the key growth areas for cleantech innovation is the subject of the report: fuel cells, which convert hydrogen and oxygen into electricity to power vehicles, releasing only water and heat.
Between 2016 and 2020, patent filings in the hydrogen fuel cell sector increased by almost a quarter (23.4%). In 2020, Chinese innovators will be the top applicants with 7,261 applications, or 69% of the total, followed by Japan (1,186 applications, 11.3% of the total), Germany (646, 6.2% of the total) ), the Republic of Korea (583, 5.6%) and the United States (403, 3.8%).
Climate change is a major global issue requiring innovation from everywhere for our common good, and new clean technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells will play a vital role in creating a healthier planet for future generations.
Climate change requires us to strengthen innovation-driven policies, incentives and investments to ensure that hydrogen fuel cells and other clean technologies reach consumers quickly.
WIPO Director General Daren Tang presented the “Patent Landscape Report: Hydrogen Fuel Cells in Transport” at the “Hydrogen in Transport” conference co-organized by the Government of Slovakia and PMOI.
This report is part of WIPO’s efforts to address climate change, including the WIPO GREEN online technology exchange platform, which connects green technology providers with others looking for sustainable solutions. WIPO also recently launched IPO GREEN, a new initiative that helps Member States’ Intellectual Property Offices (IPOs) develop environmental policies and programs.
Other key takeaways from the report include China, which was the fifth largest patent filing country a decade ago and has now become the world leader and has contributed the most to this growth.
Companies play an important role in patent filing, with almost 80% of all fuel cell patent applications being used in transportation.
The top 30 companies account for 40% of all transport fuel cell patent applications.
Only one university/research institution, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, is among the top 30 candidates in this field.
Active patent portfolios of companies continue to be strongest in Japan, the United States, the Republic of Korea and Germany, although the very strong patent filing trend by Chinese companies, if continued, is likely to reverse this trend in the coming years.
The road transport sector is the largest category in all patent data analyzed, with other areas related to shipping, aviation and special vehicles only a small fraction of them. However, the report points to rapid growth in specialty vehicles, including construction vehicles, forklifts and airport tugs.
Translation: Gihane Fawzi.