CleanTech PatentEdge 2013 Annual Report – Free Report Now Available

CTPE-Logo CTPE Annual Report image                  2013 Annual Report



Featuring data generated from the CleanTech PatentEdge™ database, which now contains more than 1.9 million clean technology related patent documents, patent research is now simplified


At A Glance

In 2013, cleantech innovators focused heavily in the renewable energy generation and green material sectors.

In 2013, the clean technology industry experienced a decline in venture capital funding. Worldwide cleantech published patent activity also declined; however, after 10 years of growth in U.S. granted cleantech patents, activity stagnated in 2013.


Our Report Will Show You

  • How did cleantech compare with overall patent activity?
  • Which sectors are still on the rise?
  • Which companies dominated cleantech patenting in 2013?


For access to this FREE report, fill out the form to the right.





Interested in trends and competitor activity within a specific Cleantech sector? We offer the following solutions:

  1. Custom reports tailored to your needs
  2. CleanTech PatentEdge database

Contact us today!

Press Release: IP Checkups Launches Advanced Battery & Capacitor PatentEdge

BERKELEY, CA (January 21, 2014) – IP Checkups, a boutique patent analytics firm, today announced the launch of Advanced Battery & Capacitor (ABC) PatentEdge™, the only comprehensive online research database dedicated to addressing patent developments in the advanced battery industry. This database houses records of more than 200,000 worldwide patents, categorized into more than 200 advanced battery technology and market sectors, including but not limited to, busbars, sensors, electric vehicles, cathodes, anodes, cathodes, electrolytes, cells, ionic liquids, and more. ABC PatentEdge™ allows users to quickly gain insight into competitive activity, broad market trends, cutting edge innovation, and project-specific patent landscapes, avoiding arduous patent searches and antiquated national databases by accessing information on advanced battery trends through a simple, cost-effective interface.

ABC PatentEdge™ was developed with input from experienced technology experts representing eight key member organizations in the National Alliance for Advanced Technology Batteries (“NAATBatt”). The core mission of the non-profit trade is to grow the North American market for products incorporating advanced energy storage technology and reduce the cost of those products to U.S. consumers.

“NAATBatt is excited to be partnered with IP Checkups. We believe the ABC PatentEdge provides advanced battery and capacitor companies, investors, and research institutions with critical insight into emerging technologies, trends, and opportunities in advanced energy storage markets,” said James Greenberger, Executive Director, National Alliance for Advanced Technology Batteries.

ABC PatentEdge™ combines its database of worldwide patent publications with an easy-to-use analytics portal. The analytics portal tracks the real-time progress of worldwide patent publications and grants and creates custom charts and tables from the data [See Images A & B]. By translating the highly technical language of patents into simple quantitative metrics, ABC PatentEdge™ places powerful competitive information at the fingertips of a wide variety of interested parties: investors, researchers, business development, licensing, product, and marketing managers. Because ABC PatentEdge is regularly updated, users can easily gain insights into advanced battery tech industry trends and competitors, instead of relying on traditional market reports that are obsolete within a few months.

ABC Velocity Analytics

Image A

ABC Analytics

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“Advanced Battery & Capacitor PatentEdge addresses an unmet need in evolving advanced battery and capacitor industries, such as secondary batteries, which are growing quickly. There are innovations in lithium-ion, collector plates, cathodes, electric vehicle technologies, to name a few. ABC PatentEdge™ provides an otherwise unattainable view of an entire industry’s patent developments and competitive landscape in real-time, as patents publish,” said Matt Rappaport, founder and CEO of IP Checkups

IP Checkups’ Director of Research and Analytics, Kathryn Paisner, PhD, will demonstrate how the ABC PatentEdgeTM data can be used to predict trends in the advanced battery and capacitor markets at NAATBatt’s 2014 Annual Meeting and Symposium being held in San Diego from January 21-23.

Who can benefit from ABC PatentEdge?

* Product and marketing executives will be well-informed on competitive product offerings and can use this information to better position their own product rollouts.

* Business development executives can find companies with strong patent portfolios and innovative research for strategic partnerships and acquisitions.

* Investors can seek opportunities in high-growth advanced battery sectors or conduct patent due-diligence on their portfolio companies.

* Market research firms can study advanced battery patent trends over time, compare technology sectors, and research individual companies.

ABC PatentEdge annual subscriptions start at $850/month for individual users, and $1500/month for 3-5 users. Corporate and educational rates are also available.

For more information, please visit


About IP Checkups

IP Checkups was founded in 2004 as a boutique patent analytics firm. The company offers custom patent portfolio and technology analysis to corporate clients, investors, research institutions, and universities. IP Checkups combines custom intellectual asset management and patent search services with powerful web-based software solutions enabling companies to identify, analyze, manage, monitor and update patent information relevant to their technology and markets.

New Opportunities in America’s Enormous, Emerging Marijuana Market: Patent Landscape Overview & Strategic Analysis

Part I. Patent Landscape Overview

Sampled by at least one third of American adults – and more than 55% of those born between 1938 and 1974 – marijuana forms the basis of what may be the largest (legally) untapped consumer market in the United States. Marijuana was found to be one of the top three cash crops in 30 states between 2003 and 2005, and size estimates of the total U.S. marijuana market – legitimate and otherwise – range from $10 to $120 billion. In 2013, medical marijuana alone accounted for a reported $1.43 billion in sales – and residents of Washington State consumed an estimated 175 metric tons of it, which works out to an annual marijuana expenditure of about $500 per household.

Marijuana is huge, but intellectual property rights are still rather sparse. The USPTO created an official category for marijuana-related trademarks in 2010, but this was quickly revoked after officials concluded that the plant’s legal status was incompatible with trademark requirements.

This same issue may underlie the relative dearth of marijuana-related patents, as well. In the U.S., fewer than 400 patents issued since 1980 mention cannabis sativa (or cannabis indica) in any context. Compared to other agriculture-based industries, which are not known as patent-heavy fields, this number is particularly striking. Cotton, which occupies a proportion of the U.S. market similar to that claimed by marijuana, according to more conservative estimates, has been mentioned by its botanical name (gossypium spp.) in more than 3,600 issued U.S. patents, over the same time period.

The estimated market size of various cash crops, compared to the number of issued U.S. patents that mention the crop by its botanical name.  a) b) c)

The estimated market size of various cash crops, compared to the number of issued U.S. patents that mention the crop by its botanical name. [a] [b]   [c]


In recent years, however, the number of marijuana-related patents filed both in the U.S. and in worldwide patent offices has steadily increased. From 1997—the year after California became the first U.S. state to legalize medical marijuana—to 2012, the number of marijuana-related patents filed in the U.S. increased by 600%, from 8 to 48. This is more than twice the increase in the overall rate of patent filing in the U.S., during that same time period.

Annual Marijuana-Related Patent Filings, by Region (WO = PCT Publication, USG = U.S. Issued Patent, USA = U.S. Patent Application, EPB = European Issued Patent, EPA = European Patent Application)

Annual Marijuana-Related Patent Filings, by Region (WO = PCT Publication, USG = U.S. Issued Patent, USA = U.S. Patent Application, EPB = European Issued Patent, EPA = European Patent Application)

Despite this rush of patenting activity, the issuance rate for marijuana-related patent applications remains surprisingly low. No more than 50% of the patents filed in any year since 2003, the first year that the USPTO published all pending patent applications, have issued; the average annual issuance rate for marijuana-related patents is just 20%. Comparatively, the overall issuance rate for U.S. applications has hovered around 60% during the same time period, although it has increased in more recent years.

Examining the relative dearth of marijuana-related patents in light of the recent trademark category debacle, one could reasonably conclude that issues relating to the legality of interstate commerce are at fault. This supposition seems relatively specious, however, when one considers recent patents granted to GW Pharmaceuticals, a British biopharmaceutical company best known for its production of Sativex®, the first natural cannabis derivative approved for medicinal use in any country. For example, US 8,481,091, issued in July 2013, and US 8,512,767, issued one month later, both describe: “an improved mode of administration for cannabis and its natural and synthetic derivatives.” Similarly, US 7,344,736 describes a method of extracting and preparing a “botanical drug substance” from the cannabis plant. A selection of other patents disclosing marijuana-related compositions and technologies that, if practiced by an operating company, would be treated as felonies under federal law, are shown in the table below:

U.S.-issued patents describing compositions, devices, and processes that are generally understood as illegal under Federal law.

U.S.-issued patents describing compositions, devices, and processes that are generally considered illegal under Federal law.

Developing (and patenting) a legally prohibited technology carries a certain amount of risk. From the increase in patenting activity related to marijuana, particularly in recent years, it is evident that, at least for certain individuals and organizations, this risk is outweighed by the sheer size of the marijuana market, and its associated economic opportunities. Even the U.S. government is getting in on the action, last year filing a patent, “Use of FAAH Inhibitors for Treating Abdominal, Visceral and Pelvic Pain,” that mentions marijuana as a potential therapeutic agent.

Protecting an invention directed at only the burgeoning, $1.43 billion medical marijuana market appears more than worth the risk, even if full legalization–which 58% of Americans currently support–remains a pipe dream. Nevertheless, if recent events in Washington and Colorado are any indication, farsighted organizations and inventors can reasonably surmise that a patent filed today could provide protection for the entire $35 billion U.S. marijuana market, well before its 20-year term expires.

In our next installment, we will discuss the current state of the marijuana related-patent landscape, including leading innovators, areas of relatively high activity, and white space for those interested in entering this very lucrative, wide-open technology area.

Check back soon for an in-depth assessment of the marijuana-related patent landscape.

IP Checkups Partners With Advanced Battery and Capacitor Expert, NAATBatt


In 2013, IP Checkups joined forces with The National Alliance for Advanced Technology Batteries (“NAATBatt”), a nonprofit trade association.  NAATBatt’s core mission is to grow the North American market for products incorporating advanced energy storage technology and reduce the cost of those products to U.S. consumers.

IP Checkups collaborated with eight NAATBatt member companies to develop a relational database designed specifically for the advanced battery and capacitor markets. This database, the Advanced Battery and Capacitor (ABC) PatentEdge, houses data from more than 200,000 patents, which have been categorized into 200 distinct technology and market areas. This organizational hierarchy allows users to quickly understand the pace and face of innovation in their area(s) of expertise, to monitor competitive activity, and to plan future innovation in accordance with available white space. The ABC PatentEdge is the only competitive patent intelligence solution specifically designed for the advanced battery and capacitor markets.

Each quarter, NAATBatt members receive an exclusive report on competitive activity in the advanced battery space. This report distinguishes thought leaders, tracks patent activity, and identifies general trends–and interesting developments–in selected technology and market areas. Members who are interested in obtaining more information may subscribe to the ABC PatentEdge at a discounted rate. NAATBatt has graciously made the third quarter 2013 report available to nonmembers on its website, which can be accessed by the public here.

IP Checkups is proud to be working with a trailblazing organization like NAATBatt, and looks forward to continuing to support its efforts to promote the acceleration of green technology innovation. At the 2014 NAATBatt Annual Meeting and Symposium this coming January in San Diego, Kathryn Paisner, Director of Research and Analytics of IP Checkups, will be demonstrating how patent data can be used to predict trends in the advanced battery and capacitor market.

Stay tuned for updates, as IP Checkups will be releasing the Advanced Battery and Capacitor database in early 2014!


Unsurprisingly, Philips Leads the Charge in LED Optics

Patents mean a lot in the LED industry — and whenever patents come to mind, the Philips portfolio is not far behind. Philips has a longstanding — and well-deserved — reputation as an innovative leader in the LED industry, and the breadth and depth of its intellectual property holdings are considered second to none.

In the April 2013 issue of LEDs Magazine (now available online), IP Checkups explored the patent landscape in LED optics, discussing general trends within the space and describing how patent data can be used to predict and identify technological growth areas, innovative leaders, emerging markets, and groundbreaking new players in the space.

Most notable in this study was perhaps the extent to which Philips has dominated innovation in LED optics, particularly over the last decade. In certain technology areas, Philips has filed more patents in the last five years than its closest competitor has filed in the last 30. This is somewhat jaw-dropping, even to those who are well-acquainted with the scope of the Philips portfolio, but it certainly speaks to the ongoing influence that Philips will likely have in the LED space, both now and in the near future.

For the full report, please visit LEDs Magazine ( or contact IP Checkups directly (info at

Why Color Temperature Control is Vital to the LED Industry

The range of color temperature

Color temperature, from “warm” reds and oranges, to “cool” blues. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Adoniscik.

What is correlated color temperature?

Correlated color temperature (CCT) measures the color of a lighting source, from “warm” color temperatures (reddish, yellow hues) to “cool” color temperatures (blueish hues), and “pure white” in between.

In technical terms, the color temperature of a light is equivalent to the temperature of an ideal black body radiator that radiates light of a similar color to the light source. Consequently CCT is measured in kelvins (K), the unit of absolute temperature.

The chart below is from EagleLight’s LED University. It provides a good overview of different color temperature measures, and examples of each:

Color Temperature Range for LEDs

Examples of various color temperature ranges. Image Credit: EagleLight’s LED University.

In the LED industry, references to “cool white” or “warm white” light bulbs reflect the color temperature of the light emitted from the LED bulb.

Why is it important for lighting?

Light affects the body’s circadian cycles, i.e. the sleep and wake cycles of everyday life. This is due to light’s effects on melatonin, a hormone secreted by humans to regulate their circadian rhythms. Blue light, or blue light wavelengths in broad-spectrum light suppresses melatonin production. This is why bright midday sunlight, composed of more short blue wavelengths, encourages wakefulness, while a dark room encourages the production of melatonin, and therefore sleep. Continue reading

IP Strategies in the LED Industry

Patent Analytics showing geographic patent filing trends in the LED Industry

LED Patent Filing Geographic Trends 1992-2012

IP Checkups recently hosted and presented a four-hour IP workshop at the Strategies in Light conference in Santa Clara, CA. The workshop started with three slide presentations and ended with an interactive panel discussion. Panel members included IP Checkups’ team and four additional experts.

The first presenter was Paul Kallmes, the ex-head of licensing and patent portfolio manager at Color Kinetics. Mr. Kallmes spoke about IP Business Strategies in the LED industry and encouraged the audience to find ways to prioritize license agreements. He said, “If licensing revenue can be created, the nearly-100% profit margin can quickly become addictive”. Mr. Kallmes emphasized the importance of creating a strong technology platform, continuous monitoring of the IP Landscape, and treating IP as a strategic business asset, not just a legal function.

Next, Kathryn Paisner spoke. Kathryn is the Director of Research at IP Checkups. Using examples from IP Checkups’ patent analytics tool, LED PatentEdgeTM, Dr. Paisner presented an overview of patenting trends in the LED industry with a specific focus on the Philips portfolio.  The presentation also featured a snapshot of industry-wide patenting trends, including patent filing rates and top assignees in different technology areas, such as color mixing and LED Phosphors. Dr. Paisner’s presentation ended with a brief overview of some of the smaller players in the LED space, including SiOnyx, Evident Technologies, Brasscorp, Yipi Pte., among others.  She concluded by articulating how competitive patent data provides an excellent source of competitive intelligence for business development, legal, marketing, and R&D departments.

Continue reading

Cleantech Company Showcase — IdleAir (Transportation)

image of IdleAir Stations

IdleAir electrification stations for truck drivers. Image courtesy of

Clean Air From a Good Night’s Sleep?

IdleAir is an innovative company that provides long-haul truck drivers an alternative to idling their engines during rest periods. Through nationwide truck stops, IdleAir provides heating, AC, internet, and TV services to truckers – allowing them to get a good night’s sleep without emitting the diesel exhaust from an idling engine. In addition, IdleAir users save a gallon of diesel fuel per truck per hour and prevent wear and tear to their vehicles, lowering truck maintenance and repair costs for an entire fleet.

The company made headlines recently for its new partnership with GM subsidiary Chevrolet. On January 31, 2013 the car company announced its intentions to invest in the IdleAir technology and expand its availability across the nation. This initiative is part of Chevrolet’s broader carbon-reduction campaign to reduce carbon emissions. Launched in November 2010, Chevrolet seeks to invest up to $40 million in various carbon-reducing projects with a goal of reducing eight million tons of CO2.

Bouncing Back from Recession

Founded in 2000 in Knoxville, Tennessee, IdleAir once had more than 130 sites in 34 states. Unfortunately, recessionary pressures got the best of the company, and IdleAir filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2008.

Luckily for IdleAir, and truck drivers, a group of cleantech-minded investors and businessmen bought the rights to IdleAir’s core intellectual property and technology in 2010. The new investment group, Convoy Solutions, LLC set out to restore IdleAir’s business and ramp up locations across the United States. Since the relaunch in 2010, IdleAir has secured over $15 million, in addition to the as yet undisclosed investment dollars from Chevrolet.

IdleAir Technology

IdleAire, Inc., IdleAire Technologies Corporation, and parent company, Convoy Solutions LLC, currently own five pending patent applications, and four issued patents. Continue reading

A List of 2000+ Potential Intellectual Ventures Shell Companies – Courtesy of Plainsite

Sharing information on the internet

The power of information sharing! Image of a scientific “collaboration network”. Source: USCD Jacobs,

When IP Checkups launched Case IV Thicket last October, I had the fortune soon thereafter of speaking with Aaron Greenspan, founder of Plainsite, about our project. Plainsite is an online legal database dedicated to bringing transparency to the legal system.

Mr. Greenspan had read about our project to uncover Intellectual Ventures, and became excited about the possibilities of cataloging the USPTO patent assignment database in a more intelligent way. He launched his own initiative to research Intellectual Ventures’ shell companies, and just yesterday, published the results on Plainsite.

The full list of over 2000 potential Intellectual Ventures shell companies is available here, and more details of the methodology behind the list can be found on the Plainsite blog.

Mr. Greenspan has given us permission to post the full list of shell companies on our public NPE Tracker – to be launched mid-January. Over the next few months, IP Checkups and outside volunteers will vet the data to remove any non-IV affiliated companies, and determine if additional IV shell companies can be found through this data.

Holiday Roundup: Top Biofuels, Solar, and Wind Power Inventors of 2012

Christmas Decoration

US Design Patent (D670596 “Christmas Decoration”) assigned to Santa’s North Pole Light Factory AB in Sweden.

The movement towards a clean energy future demands the hard work and ingenuity of our scientists and engineers – people who spend their days imagining and creating solutions for our most pressing energy needs. As the holiday season approaches, we would like to take the time to recognize some of the top renewable energy inventors of 2012.


Top Biofuels Inventors of 2012

The top biofuels inventors, as measured by number of US patent grants in 2012 (as of 12/11/12).

The top biofuel inventors of 2012, by a long stretch, are co-inventors Aniket Kale, Milton Sommerfeld, and Qiang Hu of Arizona State University (ASU). This is not surprising, given Professors Milton Sommerfeld and Qiang Hu‘s years of experience researching and optimizing various strains of algae for fuel production, pharmaceuticals, foods, and other applications. Continue reading