U.S. patents for Clean Energy technologies in 2013 were at an all time high of 3175, which was 114 more than 2012. GM took the annual Clean Energy Patent crown back from Toyota after lending it to the Japanese automaker last year and GE the year before. Solar patents led all other technologies for the first time, ending the long reign of Fuel Cell technologies back to 2002. The United States led all other countries in the number of granted U.S. clean energy patents followed by Japan and then a slew of others. California again led U.S. States while Michigan jumped and New York fell, swapping the second and third spots from 2012.
The CLEAN ENERGY PATENT GROWTH INDEX (CEPGI), published quarterly by the Cleantech Group at Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti P.C. provides an indication of the trend of innovative activity in the Clean Energy sector from 2002 to the present. The CEPGI also ranks the leaders among Clean Energy Patent Owners, along with the Countries and the U.S. States which receive the most clean energy patents.
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The granting of patents by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) is often cited as a measure of the inventive activity and evidence of the effectiveness of research & development investments. Patents are considered to be such an indicator, because to be awarded a patent, it requires not only the efforts of inventors to develop new and non-obvious innovations but also successful handling by patent counsel to shepherd a patent application through the PTO. Thus, the granting of a patent is an indicator that efforts at innovation have been successful and that an innovation had enough perceived value to justify the time and expense in procuring the patent.
The CEPGI (shown below annually) tracks the granting of U.S. patents for the following sub-components: Solar, Wind, Hybrid/Electric Vehicles, Fuel Cells, Hydroelectric, Tidal/Wave, Geothermal, Biomass/Biofuels and other clean renewable energy.
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U.S. patents for Clean Energy technologies in 2013 were at an all time high of 3175, which was 114 more than 2012, which although bringing Clean Energy patents into record territory was the smallest year-to-year increase since the 2007 to 2008 bump of 32.