Patents for biofuels dominated renewable energy patents in 2007… outdistancing patents for solar and wind combined.
According to this article on cleantech.com, since 2001, nearly 2,800 biofuel patents were published in the U.S. with 1,045 of those coming in 2007 alone. That compares to 555 for solar and 282 for wind power last year. Overall, the number of patents for biofuels jumped by 150 percent over the last couple of years:
From the biofuel related patents published in 2006 to 2007, we have analyzed the following technologies: agricultural biotechnology, biodiesel, biomass, ethanol and other alcohols, and enzymes.
The number of patents published in these technologies in 2006 – 2007 was biodiesel (299), agricultural biotechnology (110), ethanol and other alcohols (42), enzymes (35) and biomass (41).
We also assessed the number of cellulosic related patents published in 2006 to 2007 and found the following distribution: biodiesel (1), agricultural biotechnology (1), ethanol and other alcohols (4), enzymes (5) and biomass (5).
Broken down by ownership entity, the patents published in the selected technologies in 2006 to 2007 were 57 percent owned by corporate entities, 11 percent owned by universities or other academic institutions and 32 percent undesignated, where the patent applications do not list the patent owner.
This follows a worldwide trend of the number of biofuel patents rising. The greatest growth in the U.S. was, not surprisingly, in the Midwest.
With venture and government funding expected to increase in the future, the authors believe the number of biofuel patents will continue to grow with the largest growth coming in the cellulosic area.