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September 11th, 2009: CambridgeIP and Chatham House launch report ‘Who Owns Our Low-Carbon Future: Intellectual Property and Energy Technologies?’

Date: September 11, 2009

Ahead of the Copenhagen Summit, Chatham House and Cambridge IP have undertaken an extensive analysis of patent ownership and the market adoption rates of six energy technologies: wind, solar photovoltaic (PV), concentrated solar power, biomass-to electricity, cleaner coal and carbon capture. Based on a 57,000 patent datasets, the report identifies the lead ing 20 patent-holding companies for each technology, and specific trends in over 30 sub-sectors.

Conclusions include

– Carbon intensive companies control much of the key intellectual property needed for the low carbon economy; for example, seven out of the top 20 owners of cleaner coal patents are from the steel sector

– Across the six energy technologies the Top 5 patent holders are ExxonMobil, Hitachi, General Electric, Mitsubishi and Sharp. Patent ownership concentration is not synonymous with a lack of competition, but it can slow innovation and deployment in some markets depending on business models. This study finds considerable variation across the six sectors. The top four wind-energy patent owners – who collectively own 13 per cent of all wind patents – produce 57 per cent of wind-turbines globally, whereas for solar PV, many of the top manufacturers have very limited patent portfolios

– The report urges policy-makers to identify the assets in carbon intensive industries and harness them for low carbon development. A new global database on patent licensing data and best practices would be a quick win

To download a copy of the report, click here

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