Clean Technology 2009

Cleantech & Nanotech at the EPO

V. Veefkind, S. Angelucci, A. Merkt, T. Maxisch, C. Kallinger
European Patent Office, The Hague, NL

Keywords: patent information, renewable energy, trends


Research aimed at clean technologies is both politically (less pollution, less dependency on fossil fuels) and economically (less energy/production costs) driven. Concurrent with increasing investments in clean technologies, there has been a steady increase in patenting activity. Obtaining patents is often vital for companies in rapidly developing fields, as is keeping up-to-date with anyone other’s patenting efforts in order to, for example, determine one’s freedom-to-operate or assess cooperation or licensing opportunities. Monitoring patent applications tells us a lot about where clean technologies are heading. Taking some renewable energy sectors, such as wind energy and solar cells, as example, experts from the European Patent Office, who work on patent applications in this important area every day, will assess some current state-of-the-art and comment on current trends. They will also explain how to access information in published patent applications (using the free on-line esp@cenet search engine), which can be used to assist the R&D efforts of researchers in this area.
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