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Li-ion Battery Patent Landscape 2020

Technologies, trends, player comparisons, patent examples

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First commercialised in the 1990s, the Li-ion battery consists of a graphitic or carbonaceous negative electrode, a lithium salt dissolved in an organic solvent as the electrolyte and a transition metal oxide as the cathode. While this setup has not fundamentally changed, the performance, safety and cost of Li-ion batteries have improved substantially as a result of continuous R&D into to almost all components of a Li-ion cell and battery. Indeed, further improvements may be necessary to truly disrupt automotive and power generation markets, and R&D effort has grown in line with the growth in the market, as can be demonstrated by the growth in Li-ion patents. There has been consistent growth in patents across Li-ion technology and across many technology groups. Specifically covered in the report are trends and analyses on NMC/NCA and Li- and Mn-rich cathodes, silicon and titanate, electrolytes and electrolyte additives, separators and nanocarbons. Significant growth in the number of applications per year, including for a number of individual topic areas, was seen particularly between 2010-2015. While all areas covered have seen growth since 2010, the number of patents regarding the use of nanocarbons in Li-ion have seen the most substantial growth over the past 10 years.
New battery advancements and energy storage technologies are regularly publicised, but they are competing against a moving target in Li-ion batteries. Reviewing the patent literature can provide valuable information and context for which direction innovation is heading in and which areas are seeing the most recent activity. NMC and NCA layered oxides have been commercial for many years now but development continues as the industry attempts to further increase nickel and lower cobalt content of these materials. At the anode, silicon can be added in small percentages to improve capacity, but increasing the amount of silicon beyond a few percent means silicon anodes are yet to enter the market. Beyond the active materials, solid-state batteries and electrolytes rightly receive considerable attention and hype. Nevertheless, liquid electrolytes are still a key area of development, with additives potentially playing a decisive role in commercialising new anode and cathode materials. This patent analysis will provide insight into how these materials are being developed, the challenges associated with incorporating new technologies, which companies are active in these topics, and how strategies may differ between the top assignees.
The report provides a view of the main IP trends with respect to geographical activity, player strategy and technological trends and can be used to help clarify what innovation is taking place in Li-ion batteries and where. The report also provides an overview of the patent trends for Li-ion players and assignees, ranks assignees in each topic category and provides a deeper dive and comparison on particular topics that are focussed on by the top assignees. A breakdown of patents that are active or pending, compared to the total number of applications made, is also provided to allow insight into assignees who have been recently active in Li-ion innovation.
This report will provide insight and discussion on where Li-ion performance improvements will come from and as an outcome of the analysis, example patents are also reviewed and discussed in the context of current Li-ion market developments alongside a discussion of future technology commercialisation. Highlighted in the report are key technology/IP trends, geographical activity, key players and assignees, and player rankings.
Included in the report:
  • Introduction to the Li-ion market
  • Overview of Li-ion patents
  • NMC/NCA and Li-Mn-rich cathode patent landscape
  • Silicon anode patent landscape
  • Titanate anode patent landscape
  • Liquid electrolyte patent landscape
  • Carbon nanotubes and graphene for Li-ion
  • Player analysis and comparison
  • Patent examples and case studies
  • Discussion of future technology direction
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Table of Contents
1.2.Report scope
1.3.Li-ion patent analysis overview
1.4.Patent trends overview
1.5.Total patent applications
1.6.Top 5 Li-ion patent assignees
1.7.NMC patents - player rank
1.8.LG Chem co-assignees
1.9.Samsung co-assignees
1.10.Panasonic co-assignees
1.11.Trends in Li-ion mirrored by patents
1.12.Patent examples
1.13.NMC cathode - top 3 assignee main IPC comparison
1.14.Top 3 assignee NMC/NCA technology comparison
1.15.NMC assignee supply chain position
1.16.Si-anode patent application trend by assignee location
1.17.Top assignees - total Si-anode patents
1.18.Recent Si-anode patent citations
1.19.Top 3 Si-anode assignee main IPC comparison
1.20.Top 3 assignee Si-anode technology comparison
1.21.Electrolyte patents - player rank
1.22.Electrolyte patents - trend by assignee location
1.23.Electrolyte technology trend
1.24.CNTs or graphene in LIB patent application trend
1.25.Nanocarbon patents - player rank
1.26.Player rank by number of active and pending patents
1.27.Top 3 CNT/graphene assignee main IPC comparison
1.28.Future cathode direction
1.29.Future anode direction
1.30.Electrolyte overview
1.31.Future nanocarbon direction
2.1.Li-ion technology development
2.2.What is in a cell?
2.3.Demand for Li-ion shifting
2.4.European gigafactories announced by 2018
2.5.European gigafactories announced to date
2.6.Why lithium?
2.7.More than one type of Li-ion battery
2.8.The battery trilemma
2.9.Battery wish list
2.10.The Li-ion supply chain
3.2.Report scope
3.3.Search methodology
3.4.Example patents criteria
3.5.Total patent applications
3.6.Country of origin vs country filed
3.7.Patent simple families by country
3.8.Patent simple families by country from 2010
3.9.Export of patents
3.10.Geographic IP landscape
3.11.Top 5 patent assignees
3.12.Top 5 assignee share
3.13.Top 5th - 20th assignees
3.14.LG Chem co-assignees
3.15.Samsung co-assignees
3.16.Panasonic co-assignees
3.17.Toyota co-assignees
3.18.GS Yuasa co-assignees
3.19.Trends in Li-ion mirrored by patents
4.1.1.Cathode recap
4.1.2.Cathode history
4.1.3.NMC/NCA patent scope
4.1.4.NMC/NCA search term
4.1.5.NMC/NCA patent trend
4.1.6.NMC/NCA geographic distribution
4.1.7.Top 10 NMC/NCA assignees top NMC/NCA assignees
4.1.9.Application assignee share
4.1.10.Application trend of top assignees
4.1.11.Player rank by number of active and pending patents
4.1.12.Top 3 NMC assignee's main IPC comparison
4.1.13.Top 3 assignee technology comparison
4.1.14.Geographical activity of top 20 assignees
4.1.15.Top assignees of active and pending simple patent families
4.1.16.Assignee supply chain position
4.1.17.NMC citations per application
4.1.18.Recent NMC citations per application
4.1.19.Ternary cathode patent overview
4.1.20.Future cathode direction
4.2.Example patents
4.2.1.Patent examples
4.2.2.High nickel cathode synthesis
4.2.3.Low cobalt NCA - SMM
4.2.4.High nickel cathode stabilisation
4.2.5.Single crystal NCA cathode
4.2.6.EcoPro high-Ni concentration gradient synthesis
4.2.7.Cathode concentration gradient
4.2.8.Streamlined cathode synthesis
4.2.9.Patent litigation over NMC/NCM - Umicore vs. BASF
4.2.10.Patent litigation - the positive example of LFP
4.3.Li- and Mn-rich cathodes
4.3.1.Li- and Mn-rich cathode search string
4.3.2.Li- and Mn-rich patent applications trend
4.3.3.Top assignees
4.3.4.Application trend of top assignees
4.3.5.Li and Mn-rich cathode patent examples
4.3.6.Li and Mn rich - Samsung
4.3.7.Zenlabs Li- and Mn-rich
4.3.8.Li and Mn rich oxides
5.1.1.Anode materials
5.1.2.Silicon anode patent scope
5.1.3.Silicon anode patent application trend
5.1.4.Si-anode application geographic distribution
5.1.5.Application trend by assignee location
5.1.6.Top assignees - total patents
5.1.7.Top assignees - simple patent families
5.1.8.Application assignee share top assignees
5.1.10.Assignee supply chain position
5.1.11.Main IPC trend
5.1.12.Si-anode citations per application
5.1.13.Recent Si-anode patent citations
5.1.14.Top 3 assignees compared
5.1.15.Top 3 assignees trends compared
5.1.16.Top 3 assignees authorities
5.1.17.Top 3 Si-anode assignee main IPC comparison
5.1.18.Top 3 assignee technology comparison
5.2.Example anode patents
5.2.1.Silicon anode patent examples
5.2.2.Si alloys/titanate coating
5.2.3.Composite C/Si anode particle
5.2.4.Carbon coated silicon anodes - LG Chem
5.2.5.Porous silicon-carbon composite particles
5.2.6.Si/SiC/C composite
5.2.7.Graphene coated silicon nanowire
5.2.8.Anode free lithium battery - Samsung
5.2.9."Anode-free" lithium battery - SolidEnergy
6.1.Where will LTO play a role?
6.2.LTO/titanate anode patent application trend
6.3.LTO/titanate patent geographic distribution
6.4.Application trend by assignee location
6.5.Geographical activity of top 20 assignees
6.6.Top 10 assignees
6.7.Top assignees - LTO simple patent families
6.8.Future anode direction
7.1.Introduction to Li-ion electrolytes
7.2.Electrolyte decomposition
7.3.Electrolyte patent application trend
7.4.Top 10 assignees
7.5.Top 10 assignees - electrolyte simple patent families
7.6.Top 10th - 20th assignees
7.7.Player rank by number of active and pending patents
7.8.Electrolyte application geographic distribution
7.9.Geographical activity of top 20 assignees
7.10.Application trend by assignee location
7.11.Application assignee share
7.12.Technology trend
7.13.Electrolyte technology distribution
7.14.Electrolyte patent citations
7.15.Recent electrolyte patent citations
7.16.Electrolyte patent simple family technology splits
7.17.Top 3 electrolyte additive assignee comparison
7.18.Electrolyte additive patent examples
7.19.Ionic liquids
7.20.Ionic Liquid patent application trend
7.21.Ionic liquid usage
7.22.Electrolyte overview
8.1.Introduction to separators
8.2.Separator search string
8.3.Separator patent application trend
8.4.Separator application geographic distribution
8.5.Application trend by assignee location
8.6.Top 10 assignees
8.7.Top 10th - 20th assignees
8.8.Player rank by number of active and pending patents
8.9.Geographical activity of top 20 assignees
8.10.Separator overview
9.1.1.Conductive agents
9.1.2.CNTs/graphene in LIB patent application trend
9.1.3.CNTs or graphene in LIB patent application trend
9.1.4.Top 10 assignees - CNT, graphene
9.1.5.Top 10th-20th assignees
9.1.6.Player rank by number of active and pending patents
9.1.7.Li-ion CNT/graphene patent citations
9.1.8.Application trend by assignee location
9.1.9.CNT/graphene application geographic distribution
9.1.10.Geographical activity of top 20 assignees
9.1.11.Patent simple family - geographic distribution
9.1.12.Top 3 CNT/graphene assignee main IPC comparison
9.1.13.CNT/Graphene and silicon anodes
9.1.14.Samsung and LG Chem focus
9.1.15.Future nanocarbon direction
9.2.Nanocarbon patent examples
9.2.1.Si nanowire-graphene anodes - Samsung
9.2.2.Tin-graphene anode
9.2.3.Nanocarbon for rate improvement
9.2.4.Tsinghua University portfolio

Report Statistics

Slides 210
ISBN 9781913899004

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