EPO-IEA study highlights need to accelerate innovation in clean energy technologies to meet climate goals
This is the second joint study compiled by experts at the International Energy Agency and the European Patent Office, following a first joint study on innovation in batteries and electricity storage published in September 2020. The patent analysis in this report takes a much broader perspective looking at the whole landscape of low-carbon energy technologies.
It uses the EPO’s patent classification scheme for climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies, which classifies millions of patent documents across a wide variety of climate change mitigation technologies, and has become a widely-used standard for monitoring progress in green technologies across the world. The analysis was done based on international patent families (IPFs) – each of which represents a unique invention and includes patent applications filed in at least two countries or a regional patent office, as well as international patent applications. IPFs represent inventions deemed important enough by the inventor to seek protection internationally, and only a relatively small percentage of applications meet this threshold. This concept can therefore be used as a sound basis for comparing international innovation activities.