Analysis of Chinese patentees and Chinese patents for power lithium-ion batteries
1. Analysis of patent owners
(1) Activity of patentee
As can be seen from Figure 1, companies with less than 2 patents account for 57%, companies with 2 to 5 patents account for 33%, and patentees with more than 6 patents account for only 10%. This shows that the patented technology is very fragmented, has not yet been sold to medium to large enterprises and companies, and the technology is not yet mature.
(2) Ranking of patentees
Among the top 15 companies with Chinese patents for power lithium-ion batteries, there are 5 Japanese companies, ranking 1st, 2nd, 4th and 15th respectively, and Korean entrepreneurs, ranking 3rd. Top Chinese companies include Better Electronics Materials Co., Ltd. and Dongguan New Energy Technology Co., Ltd.
(3) The technical advantages of the patentee
Figure 2 shows the ranking and technology distribution of Chinese power lithium-ion battery patent applicants. The No. 1 Panasonic has an absolute advantage in the field of electrode technology, but is weaker in the field of separators and electrolytes. South Korea’s LG Chem and Dongguan New Energy Technology Co., Ltd. have certain advantages in the field of diaphragm technology. Japan’s Sanyo has many patents in the field of electrolytes (electrolytes).
Figure 3 shows the percentage of technology distribution of the main applicants for power lithium-ion battery patents in China. It can be seen that electrode patents account for the largest proportion. The difference is that South Korea’s LG Chem’s patent layout focuses on three technical fields of monomer, diaphragm and electrolyte (electrolyte), while Japan’s Sanyo Electric’s patent layout focuses on monomer and diaphragm technology at the same time. From the perspective of technology distribution of Chinese companies, it is relatively simple. In the world, there is a trend of downstream industries integrating upstream industries, but this trend is not obvious in China at present.
2. Analysis of patents in China
(1) Trend analysis
As of June 30, 2014, there were 1,155 patents in China, of which the earliest patent in China was an electrode patent filed by an American in 1990. Since then, the number of patent applications in China has basically maintained an increasing trend year by year.
(2) Technical analysis
In recent years, the growth rate of separator and battery patents has accelerated, and the growth rate of electrode patents has been slower.
Figure 4 is the distribution map of the main technical fields of the global Chinese and Chinese patents for power lithium-ion batteries. Compared with the global patent technology distribution, the proportion of electrode patents in Chinese patents exceeds that of the world, the proportion of monomers is lower than that of the world, and the proportion of battery packs, separators, and electrolytes (electrolytes) is relatively close. Patents in China focus on electrodes and separators. At present, there are few patent layouts in the field of battery packs and monomers. Chinese enterprises should seize this opportunity, by tracking the R&D trends in the field of battery packs and monomers, to select R&D priorities, increase R&D investment and apply for patents.
(3) Regional distribution
A total of 14 countries have patent layouts in China. Japan, South Korea, and the United States are among the top three countries. At the same time, these three countries are also the three countries with the largest number of patents in this field.
(4) Analysis of patentee
Among the top 25 patent holders of power-type lithium-ion battery patents in China, there are 20 Japanese companies, 3 Korean companies, and 2 American companies. In 1997, four companies, Sony Corporation, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, and Hitachi, Ltd. of Nippon Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. entered the Chinese market first, and their patent applications were concentrated in the field of electrodes. Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and Anvia Systems have not filed patent applications in China in the past three years. At the same time, South Korea’s LG Chem and Samsung SDI have strengthened their patent layout in China.
Analysis of global patent owners of power lithium-ion batteries