Hydrogen Production Patent Landscape Report

Following on from our recent blog “What’s the Hype About Hydrogen?”, we have decided to generate a snapshot of hydrogen production patent applications using a combination of artificial intelligence, patent classifications and key words to contextualise patent activity in Hydrogen, as well as Fuel Cell technologies.

1 – Patent Applications

Hydrogen production has a long R&D history with one of the earliest patent applications. having a priority date of 31 Dec 1902 (FR327878A) which relates to the generation of hydrogen using calcium derivatives. As can be seen from Figure 1 below, there has been a big increase in patent applications since 1992 with storage technologies for hydrogen being a leading subject matter of these recent filings.

Figure 1

2 – Collaboration in Hydrogen Production

Using a selection process for further searching on fuel cell technologies within the previous results, we can see that three distinct collaboration clusters exist (Univ Nagoya, Toshiba, Takenaka Shinobu) and two other clusters (Toyota and atsushita/Panasonic) are interconnected. There is a high level of collaboration in this sector compared to other technologies we have looked at.

Figure 2

3 – Fuel Cell Patent Applications Classification

When we look at the International Classification Network for these fuel cell patent applications, we can see the following (Figure 3): the three core classes relate to fuel cell manufacture (H01M8/02), general details, inert electrodes with catalytic activity for fuel cells (H01M4/86), inert electrodes with catalytic activity for fuel cells (H01M8/10). The technologies these classes are linked to include fuel cell stacking, working temperatures and fluid pressure or circulation in fuel cells. The outlier IPC classification B01D53/22 relates to membranes, presumably those that that are used in Fuel Cell manufacture or operation.

Figure 3

4 – Top 4 More Innovative Applicants

Deeper analysis of these citations shows that the vast majority of patent applicants are bundled in the same sort of subject matter and technological broadness, but the top 4 more innovative applicants are Sumitomo Electric Toyama, Matsushita Electric, Kyocera and Nissan Motor. Toyota Motor is the dominant patent applicant by numbers. The subject matter of Sumitomo Electric Toyama patent applications is mainly porous metal body technologies.

Figure 4

Let us support you develop an Intellectual Property (IP) strategy and drive a return on IP-related expenditure

An IP strategy can add value for lots of reasons, whether to help define your innovation strategy, support future budgeting, or plan for commercialisation.

We are delighted to offer multiple in-house services that will provide critical advice on maximising the potential of your IP.

  1. Patent Searching and Landscaping
  2. IP Audits
  3. Patent Strategy Advice
  4. Patent Watching and Observing
  5. Patent Drafting and Filing
  6. Patent Box

Harness the knowledge and experience of our people for your business!

Dr Edward O’Gorman has over 20 years’ experience in the Patent Profession, including private and industrial practice.

Jonathan Kennedy is an expert in both Patent Box and R&D tax relief, with experience in both accountancy practices and specialist firms, and leads our in-house Patent Box team.

Why not try our free Patent Box Calculator to find out how much of a saving you could make on tax paid on your existing patents by opting into the scheme?

This landscape is purely for information purposes and not to be relied on for any actionable or strategic purposes.
Please do not hesitate to contact us should you wish a similar landscape report for your technology sector.