PATENT AS TECHNOLOGICAL INDICATOR IN RENEWABLE ENERGY
When a global, capitalist and changing world, patents are the only proven and reliable technological bulwark. The already patented technologies have passed a broad filter when compared to State of the Art (everything that previously has been published worldwide) that assures they are original. They have also been examined regarding their inventive activity: that is, their level of obviousness for a skill person who knows the subject in depth.
To explain the obviousness, it can be defined as the changes made to a new patent in front of the existing patent have been few and not very important, it can be considered as obvious and not patentable. For all these reasons, patents have been, are and will be indicative of research in new technologies and their worldwide development. A granted patent is a realistic indicative.
The amount is also important.
Let’s take a look at the USA. The country with the largest number of patents in the world. A banner of technology and new developments. Germany is the same, but at a European level instead of at a world level. And Japan, always behind the US since they became an enviable industrial and technological power during the XIX century. All these countries mentioned have always had the highest indicators in the number of patents per capita.
However, all that glitters is not gold. The premises that try to show the importance of patents as indicators have counterparts.Not all inventions are patented and not all patents are good inventions. China has opted for overtaking the US in number of patents. And soon it will succeed.
Nevertheless, there is a serious doubt about the quality of these patents when analyzing them. And even more, due to the fact that patents are governed by national legislations and that in the USA patents have a greater scope in the description of their claims (which causes them to be written differently than in Europe), it is not strange to find memories of 50 sheets and 100 claims. This strategy in the amount of esoteric language used inside the memories seems to work very well in the US, especially if there are lawsuits involved.
Once the sieve has been sifted, the gold appears. And in the quality of the patents there is a clear premise: the 20-80. 20% of a company’s patents have the value of 80% of its remaining portfolio.
The business of patent offices is to grant patents, not to deny them.
In order to convince and willing to sacrifice part of the characteristics of your invention, it is always possible to save the inventive activity: the obviousness with which every examiner punishes. By restricting the scope of the invention, you avoid the pitfalls of lack of inventive step and get your patent granted.
Patents, and specifically the “green” ones, reflect technological development over time.
WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) has published its latest report with the number of patents in the world. Last year, there were registered 3.168.900 patents applications. The main conclusion from the report is that Asia consolidated its position as the leading region in the presentation of patents, both in number of patent applications and in number of utility models
Within the world of patents it is very easy to separate them by technologies. All patents in the world are governed by a common International Classification, the IPC. All except USA, which has its own classification, although it also uses the International classification in its Reports.
The code F03D corresponds to wind turbines. This facilitates the searches (for example, those related to the State of the Art) and the use of the BD of patents. Analyzing the evolution over time of “green patents” one cannot but determine the crisis suffered during the past decade.
The beginning of the 21st century marked a great growth in the number of these patent applications from 1% to 4%. Between 2000 and 2010 it increased to the tipping point where the decline began.
The latest data from last year already shows a new positive inflection that augurs another strong growth. Taking into account the discrepancy between the date of application for a patent and the date on which it is made public (a year and a half), the crisis, the entry into force of energy auctions and large alliances between companies (mergers and acquisitions), it can be seen that the technological decline in energy began in 2009 and would have ended in 2017.
Also due to the large discrepancy between applications and concessions (in the European Office, Japan or Brazil can reach 5 years) the scales used for statistics are applications rather than concessions. Especially if you want to equate patents with recent innovations.