Active patent applications for electric power services related to electric vehicles
With the number of registered electric vehicles surpassing 100,000 units in March of this year, patent applications for electric vehicle-related power services have been increasing. Electric vehicles equipped with large-capacity batteries of the 64kWh class have great potential for being utilized as distributed standby power facilities. Accordingly, technologies for efficiently charging batteries and billing by time of day and season under other electricity tariffs, and technologies for using or selling surplus battery power are being actively developed.
According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), there were only 3 cases of patent applications for electric vehicle-related power services in 2008, but the number increased to an annual average of 36 cases from 2009 to 2011, decreased to 18 cases in annual average from 2012 to 2016, and then increased again to an annual average of 31 cases from 2012-2019.
<Patent application trend for electric vehicle-related power services by year
* The number of registered electric vehicles is based on Ministry of Land, Infrastructure,
and Transport statistical material.
* Main keywords when searching the number of applications: electric vehicle, charging, payment, billing and selling
Starting with the development of the first domestic electric vehicle in 2009, applications for electric vehicle-related power services were activated, and with the further spread of electric vehicles on the basis of an environmentally friendly industrial policy, such applications have seemingly been reactivated since 2017.
Looking at applicants by type for applications during the 2007-2019 period, SMEs and mid-sized companies (29.6%), major companies and public companies (28.3%), individuals (22.1%), universities and research institutes (15.6%), and foreign companies (4.2%), the application ratio of Korean enterprises is relatively high, and this is interpreted as showing that Korean enterprises are leading the increase in patent applications through proactive technological development in order to occupy in advance the market for electric vehicle power services.
<Patent application trend for electric vehicle-related power services by applicant type (2007-2019)>
Looking at applications for the same period by technical field, technology related to battery charging and billing (user authentication, charge status display, charge calculation, billing) lead the way at 73.6%, technology related to sales and sharing of surplus power of electric vehicle batteries to other charging stations or electric vehicles comprised 15.6%, and technology related to providing additional charging services (optimal times, charging station proposals, reservation systems, charging apps, etc.) made up 10.7%.
<Patent application trend for electric vehicle-related power services by technology field (2007-2019)>
The Chief of the Electricity Examination Bureau of KIPO said, “The power services market related to electric vehicles has a high potential for growth in the future, so it is important to establish a patent strategy by linking business models and products, and to gain an edge in the marketplace through early acquisition of intellectual property rights."