Summary of Chinese and global patent status of power lithium-ion batteries
1. Global Patents
(1) Industrial R&D is in a period of rapid development
In the 1970s, M.S. Whittingham of Exxon used titanium sulfide as the positive electrode material and metallic lithium as the negative electrode material to make the first lithium-ion battery. Since then, the power-type lithium-ion battery has entered the technological development period in 1995 after 20 years of technological budding period, and the United States and Japan have maintained the leading position. After 2005, the power lithium-ion battery has entered a period of rapid technological development, and patents in Germany, South Korea and China have experienced rapid growth. With the rapid development of power lithium-ion battery technology, new technologies emerge rapidly, and new researchers continue to join. Countries have invested a lot of manpower and material resources in the field of power lithium-ion battery technology. In recent years, the number of patents and the number of applicants has begun to decrease. From the trend point of view, there are signs of entering the third stage of technological maturity, the technological competition is becoming more intense, and the industry entry threshold is constantly increasing.
(2) The technology development is balanced, and the battery pack system management diaphragm technology is slightly popular
Power lithium-ion battery technology is divided into five categories, namely electrodes, separators, electrolytes, monomers and battery packs. Among them, electrodes, separators and electrolytes belong to the upstream industries of power lithium-ion batteries, and single cells and battery packs belong to the midstream industries. The patents of monomers and electrodes are the largest, accounting for 42% and 37% of the total, respectively, followed by battery packs, and electrolytes and separators with the fewest patents. These five technologies all show an increasing trend with the years, and the patents related to electrodes and battery cells have the fastest growth rate. In addition, battery pack technology started late, but has developed rapidly in recent years.
(3) Japan leads the industrial technology, followed by the United States, South Korea, China and Germany
Power lithium-ion battery technology is mainly concentrated in Japan, the United States, Germany, China and South Korea. Japan basically monopolizes most industrial technologies, and the number of priority patents accounts for 65% of the total. Patents in Japan and the United States started early, and Germany, China, and South Korea started a little later, and developed rapidly in recent years. Japan, the United States, Germany, and South Korea focus on market layout and apply for a large number of PCT patents, while China mainly targets its domestic market and has few patent layouts in foreign markets.
(4) Japanese manufacturers are the main body of industry innovation and competition, and Korean manufacturers are developing rapidly
The patented technology is concentrated in large and medium-sized enterprises, and the technology is beginning to mature. In the ranking of patent holders, automobile manufacturers rank high, indicating that there is currently a trend of downstream industries integrating upstream industries. Among the top 15 companies, 12 are Japanese companies, occupying an absolute advantage. South Korea’s LG Chem ranked 5th, South Korea’s Samsung SDI ranked 7th, and Germany’s Robert Bosch ranked 9th. Companies in South Korea and Germany have been active in recent years, and have the momentum to overtake Japanese companies. In addition, some companies have also experienced acquisitions and mergers and acquisitions.
2. Chinese Patents
(1) Patent application started late and developed rapidly
The trend of patent application in China is basically the same as that of the world, but it started late, and the scale of development was only achieved after 2002. A lot of manpower and material resources have been invested in the field of power lithium-ion batteries, and it has shown a rapid development trend since then. The growth rate of China’s patent applications has basically maintained a positive growth, and has stabilized in recent years, indicating that the technology is also becoming mature.
(2) Electrode technology dominates
In China’s lithium-ion battery technology, electrode patents account for 54% of the total number of patents, followed by monomer patents with 28%.
(3) Foreign enterprises attach great importance to the layout of patents in China, and Guangdong technology leads the country
The number of foreign patents in China accounted for 225% of the total, and the countries involved mainly include Japan, South Korea and the United States. The regions with the strongest relevant patents in China are concentrated in Guangdong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Beijing, accounting for 41.6% of the total, nearly half. There is little difference in technology distribution among provinces in China.
(4) Japanese and Korean manufacturers are at the forefront, and Chinese manufacturers are numerous but scattered
The top 3 patent holders of Chinese patents for power-type lithium-ion batteries are all Japanese and Korean manufacturers, and the top 15 patent holders include 5 Japanese companies and 1 Korean company. Companies with less than 5 patents in China account for 90% of China’s patents. It can be seen that although the number of relevant Chinese manufacturers is large, they are scattered. In the field of power lithium-ion batteries, companies with international influence have not yet formed. Besides, I hereby recommend TYCORUN ENERGY, a Chinese manufacturer of 12v lithium ion battery products.
(5) The number of patents in China is increasing year by year, and Japan, South Korea, the United States and Germany have strengthened their patent layout in China
The number of patents in China basically shows a trend of increasing year by year, and the main patentees are concentrated in Japan, South Korea and the United States. The patented technology in China focuses on electrodes and diaphragms. 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.