The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity in thin-film batteries is driven by the demand for longer-range electric vehicles (EVs), cost reduction, faster charging, and safety, and growing importance of technologies such as high-performance computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and printed, flexible, and stretchable technologies. In the last three years alone, there have been over 1.7 million patents filed and granted in the automotive industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Batteries in automotive: thin-film batteriesBuy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over one million patents to analyze innovation intensity for the automotive industry, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Thin-film batteries is a key innovation area in batteries

Thin-film batteries are a type of solid-state battery technology that are lightweight and flexible, with the ability to be integrated into various electronic devices. They are made by depositing thin layers of active materials onto a substrate, and typically have higher energy density than traditional batteries.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of thin-film batteries.

Key players in thin-film batteries – a disruptive innovation in the automotive industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.   

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to thin-film batteries

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Toyota Motor 183 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 273 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung SDI 55 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 47 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 64 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 50 Unlock Company Profile
Sion Power 38 Unlock Company Profile
Carl Zeiss Stiftung 37 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 98 Unlock Company Profile
CEA 105 Unlock Company Profile
Murata Manufacturing 101 Unlock Company Profile
PolyPlus Battery 53 Unlock Company Profile
Cymbet 38 Unlock Company Profile
GS Yuasa 79 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 86 Unlock Company Profile
Applied Materials 269 Unlock Company Profile
Infineon Technologies 42 Unlock Company Profile
Energizer 72 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 68 Unlock Company Profile
Medtronic 47 Unlock Company Profile
LG 217 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 59 Unlock Company Profile
STMicroelectronics 52 Unlock Company Profile
Varta 45 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Electric Industries 31 Unlock Company Profile
Contemporary Amperex Technology 40 Unlock Company Profile
Imprint Energy 42 Unlock Company Profile
Optodot 61 Unlock Company Profile
ITEN 44 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 48 Unlock Company Profile
Nagano Automation 39 Unlock Company Profile
Dyson 175 Unlock Company Profile
The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission 192 Unlock Company Profile
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan 31 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Johnson & Johnson is one of the leading patent filers in thin-film batteries for the automotive industry. The company has developed a new thin-film battery technology incorporating higher energy density, longer lifespan, faster charging, and an efficient manufacturing process. The technology could offer benefits like reduced battery replacement costs, faster charging, and reduced battery costs, making EVs more affordable and convenient. Some other key patent filers in this space include Applied Materials and LG.

In terms of application diversity, Carl Zeiss Stiftung leads the pack, while LG and Murata Manufacturing stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Optodot held the top position, followed by Johnson & Johnson and PolyPlus Battery.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Automotive.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.