• Dec 28, 2009
Toyota is the undisputed world leader in hybrid vehicle sales, so it's no surprise the company dominates the charts when it comes to patents for "electric propulsion vehicles." A recent study conducted by the Japan Patent Office on global trends in the EV industry found that 76 percent of the 16,670 patents filed for electric propulsion vehicles (here defined as pure electric vehicles, hybrids and fuel cell vehicles, yet excluding railroad vehicles) came from Japanese companies.

As you can see in the tables above (unedited version here), Toyota has filed dramatically more patent applications than anyone else. What's surprising is this this list only takes into account patent applications filed from 2001 to 2006, which is after the Prius debuted. Many more applications were filed in this time frame than in 1995-2000, and the numbers are still climbing.


[Source: Tech-On]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Seeing as how EVs are the future, this is a scary, scary statistic for the hometown teams.

      Just like is soooo many other technologies, US-based companies are falling frighteningly behind the times.
      JDM Life
      • 5 Years Ago
      Even tho no one said it.......Good Job Toyota.

        • 5 Years Ago
        @JDM Life
        Quote: ""Even tho no one said it.......Good Job Toyota""

        Huh?? If Toyota is doing such a good job on patenting tech relating to electric propulsion vehicles why have they been sucessfully sued by U.S. companies for willfull infringement on thier hybrid tech patents?

        And no, the U.S. companies were not patent trolls.

        http://green.autoblog.com/2008/05/12/toyota-loses-hybrid-patent-appeal-case/

        The Japanese are the least innovative people anywhere.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If the survey comes from Japan, don't believe it. Imagine, GM and Ford is not even on the list. Don't believe this garbage.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Writing massive numbers of patents is part of the Japanese engineering departments' mission. Domestically, most departments have generating patents as a secondary mission, unless its truly critical. Japanese engineering staffs are correspondingly larger to accommodate.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Seriously, you have no clue. Domestic engineering companies push hard for their employees to generate patents. Employees are given bonuses, promotions and recognition for patents.

        Do you even have engineering work related experience here in the US (not to mention abroad)?

        • 5 Years Ago
        japanaese are not the world leader by writing patents... that is still the USA

        the overall ranking is

        average a year
        1. USA ~38,000
        2. Japan ~20,000
        3. Germany ~17,500


        most patents per one million citizen
        1. Finnland 271 each million
        2. Sweden 270 each million
        3. Swiss 265 each million
        4. Denmark 208 each million
        5. Germany 197each million
        .
        .
        .
        . Japan 178 each million
        .
        .
        .
        . USA 157 each million
        .
        .
        .
        OECD average 108 each million

      • 5 Years Ago
      What's with the little pro-Hyundai caption? Why is it suprising that Hyundai is at the top of the KOREAN patent list? Geez AB, show a little non-biased writing.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Miguel, I don't know about the US, but since I've been here in Korea since the beginning of the month, I've seen quite a few Hyundai Accent/Verna Hybrids and Forte Hybrids running around, although more Fortes than Accents...
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's scary that US automakers don't top that list, especially GM. With so much hope pinned on the Chevy Volt, you'd expect there to be more new, proprietary tech. I don't really think electric cars are the definitive future for automobiles, but the domestic makers don't seem to be trying very hard in pushing the technological envelope with alternative fuels/propulsion (aside from the subsidized fail that is ethanol).

      As for Europe not having much, that's not a surprise, considering Europe favors diesel more than electric or hybrid tech (which imo is still the most practical one). Hybrids sell really poorly in Europe.
      • 5 Years Ago
      China and patents.....bwahahahahahahahahaha....talk about oxymoron.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Lets see how long it takes to knock down the validity or bring forth the vagueness of most of those patents through diligent due process. I bet one of them patents concerns the rectification and inversion of electric current from the motor to an appliance, but of course as it only applies to inside an automobile.

      Intellectual Property rights have become more fragrantly abused all the time to the point that content distributors can essentially lock out those that produced it in the first place. This doesn't show how forward Toyota is technologically, just how much so it is in the legal sense of hegemony over a niche of the market globally. At least in South Korea Hyundai beat them to it, whether its because the courts there actually possess common sense or because they beat them at their own dirty game remains unknown to me.
        • 5 Years Ago
        sour grapes? /cough

        Show us some good o' push rod patents for Christ's sake to offset this electric vehicle nonsense.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Intellectual Property Abuse, the next great fragrant from Giorgio Armani.
    • Load More Comments