Although fuel cells are still in the top spot with 232 patents, they were down 18 relative to the first quarter of last year. The report shows large year on year gains for solar patents, up 50 at 188, and wind, which totaled 157 patents, up 71 from Q1 2011.
There were 62 hybrid/electric vehicle (HEV) patents granted, a gain of 24 over last year, and biomass/biofuel patents more than doubled from Q1 2011 to 36.
As to assignees, Toyota took the top spot with 49 patents, mostly for fuel cells and some HEV patents. GE was in second place with 33 patents, the vast majority of which were for wind technology.
Third place went to Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas with 30 patents, and GM was in fourth place with 28 patents, almost all for fuel cell technology. Other patentees in the top ten were Samsung, Honda, Siemens, Ford, Mitsubishi and Hyundai.
The CEPGI reports also break out patent data by geography, looking at U.S. states and other countries.
In Q1 2012, Japan led non-U.S. green patentees with 150 patents, and California took second place with 70 patents. Other jurisdictions holding a lot of green patents included Germany (51), Michigan (49), New York (47), Korea (45), and Denmark (32).
Always an interesting read, the CEPGI quarterly reports provide valuable snapshots of green patenting activity and a window into green innovation.
Eric Lane is a patent attorney at McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP in San Diego and the author of Green Patent Blog. Mr. Lane can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org