GE received the most clean energy patents in the United States last year, beating General Motors, Samsung, Toyota and other industrial giants, according a new patent study. GE took the top spot with 184 patents, which represents nearly 8% of the 2,331 U.S. clean energy patents awarded to more than 800 firms and businesses in 2011. The company finished ahead of the runner-up, Samsung, by 56 patents.
Reap the Wild Wind: The view from the top of a GE 1.5 MW Wind turbine at the Gating Wind farm in Spain.
The vast majority of GE’s “green patents” were in the wind energy business, 152, followed by solar and hybrid and electric vehicle patents. By comparison, Vestas Wind Systems received 59 clean energy patents in 2011, and Siemens 20.
GE was also the leader in solar energy with 14 patents, ahead of Dupont and Samsung, which received 13.
The data comes from the annual Clean Energy Patent Growth Index (CEPGI) published by the intellectual property law firm Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti, based in Albany, New York. The index tracks the granting of U.S. patents for solar, wind, fuel cells, biofuels and other renewable energy technologies.
GE received 434 clean energy patents since the index was first published in 2002. Only GM and Honda received more U.S. clean energy patents over the last decade.
Each year, GE files thousands of patent applications at home and abroad. The majority of GE patents are in the energy business, with the healthcare patent portfolio being the company’s most global. Oil and gas, lighting and appliances are the fastest growing intellectual property areas.