SOPHIA ANTIPOLIS, France – March 20, 2023 │ Solid-state lithium battery news: Through KnowMade’s comprehensive patent landscape analysis, discover who entered the solid-state Li-ion batteries patent landscape in 2022.
The competitive and technological landscape of solid-state batteries has been shifting in recent years. Numerous new companies have been entering the landscape, attracted by the huge hype surrounding solid-state Li-ion batteries and their market potential.
In such a thriving competitive landscape, it is important to stay up to date on competitors’ strategic choices, newcomers, and technological trends. That is why KnowMade is monitoring patenting activity on solid-state Li-ion batteries to complete its two recent reports on solid electrolytes for Li-ion batteries and solid-state Li-ion batteries with inorganic solid electrolytes. Tracking intellectual property (IP) activities related to solid-state Li-ion batteries enables you to follow technology trends and competitors’ strategies, early detect opportunities and risks, and identify newcomers under the radar.
China continues its big rise, but Japanese IP players have not given up the game
Despite the COVID-19 crisis, patenting activity on solid-state Li-ion batteries continued to grow in 2022, strongly driven by important patent applications in China filed by not only Chinese patent applicants but also foreign companies.
More than 2,800 new patent families (i.e., unique inventions) were published in 2022 from almost 800 patent applicants. 53% of IP players active in 2022 had filed only one patent family that year. A large majority of companies active in 2022 were from Asia (62% from China, 12% from Japan, 8% from South Korea). Only 9% of companies came from the US and 5% from Europe. Even though Chinese entities were the most active IP players in 2022, Japanese and South Korean companies were still involved. Panasonic/Sanyo strongly increased its patenting activity in 2022, while Toyota, Samsung and LG Chem/LG Energy Solutions consolidated their patent portfolio. American companies such as A123 Systems, Global Graphene, and General Motors also had a notable patenting activity. Several car manufacturers were among the most active IP players in 2022 (Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai/Kia, Honda, General Motors, etc.).
IP newcomers in the field of solid-state Li-ion batteries are mostly Chinese companies
In 2022, more than 320 new patent applicants entered the solid-state Li-ion battery-related patent landscape, with three-quarters filing only one patent family (i.e., unique invention). Most of these IP newcomers are Chinese companies and R&D labs, with less than 30% of them publishing more than one patent family that year.
Notable Chinese IP newcomers in 2022 include start-up companies (Langu New Energy Technology, Innobeson Energy Technology, Cornex, Battero Technology), battery manufacturers (Jiuhuan Energy Storage Technology, Liwei Energy Technology) and automotive makers (Xpeng Motors, IAT Auto, Jidu Auto, Eagle Electric Vehicles, Songuo Motors).
Langu New Energy Technology is a material manufacturer founded in 2021, specializing in electrolyte manufacturing. Its nine patent families on solid-state batteries are related to methods for improving the stability of solid electrolyte slurry products, LLZO garnet solid electrolyte, and methods and solutions for treating solid electrolyte surface.
Innobeson is a battery manufacturer founded in 2016 and specialized in solid-state batteries. Its two patent families on solid-state batteries are related to an all-solid-state battery cathode material and its preparation method.
Cornex, also known as Chuneng New Energyis, is a battery manufacturer founded in 2021. Its three patent families on solid-state batteries are related to a lithium-supplementing composite isolating membrane and its preparation.
Battero Technology is a battery manufacturer founded in 2020, specializing in Li-ion batteries for electric vehicles. Its two patent families on solid-state batteries are related to a composite positive electrode material comprising NASICON/polymer solid electrolyte, its manufacturing method and its use in all-solid-state batteries.
Jiuhuan Energy Storage Technology is a battery manufacturer founded in 2003. Its ten patent families are related to solid-state battery cells with undefined solid electrolytes.
Liwei Energy Technology is a battery manufacturer founded in 2020. Its patent family on solid-state batteries is related to a composite oxide/polymer isolating membrane and its preparation method.
Xpeng Motors is a car manufacturer founded in 2014. Its ten patent families on solid-state batteries are related to halide solid electrolyte materials, production processes of electrode containing oxide glass ceramic solid electrolyte and solid-state battery modules.
Eagle Electric Vehicle is a car manufacturer founded in 1999, specializing in electric gulf cars. Its two patent families on solid-state batteries are related to an high energy density solid-state battery.
IAT Auto is a car manufacturer founded in 2007. Its two patent families on solid-state batteries are related to a composite oxide/polymer structure electrode and its preparation method.
Jidu Auto is a car manufacturer founded in 2021 as a joint venture between Baidu and Geely and fully acquired by Baidu in 2022. Its patent family on solid-state batteries is related to a solid-state battery pack and system.
Songuo Motors is a Chinese/Korean car manufacturer founded in 2013. Its patent family on solid-state batteries is related to a inorganic/polymer solid electrolyte membrane and its use in solid-state batteries.
Non-Chinese start-ups newly active on solid-state batteries in 2022 have been identified
Several non-Chinese start-ups incorporated after 2016 entered the solid-state Li-ion batteries patent landscape in 2022, mainly originating from South Korea and the US.
Notable South Korean start-ups
Energy11, founded in 2020, develops Na-ion batteries. Its three patent families on solid-state batteries are related to NASICON inorganic/polymer solid electrolyte materials.
Inchems, founded in 2019, produces sulfide type solid electrolytes with air-stable type for all-solid-state-batteries. Its two patent families on solid-state batteries are related to manufacturing method of Sulfide Glass Ceramic solid electrolyte material.
BI lab, a material manufacturer founded in 2018 and specialized in next generation energy materials, has two patent families on solid-state batteries related to sulfide/polymer solid electrolyte.
BioGeneSys, established in 2020, is specialized in hybrid graphene materials and its use in battery and sensors. Its two patent families on solid-state batteries are related to anode for Li-ion battery containing hybrid graphene and sulfide glass ceramic solid electrolyte.
Notable American start-ups
NexTech Batteries is an American start-up founded in 2016 that is based on the R&D results from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and specialized in Li-S Batteries. Its patent on solid-state batteries is related to a solid-state battery with an argyrodite sulfide solid electrolyte.
Dynami Battery is an American battery manufacturer founded in 2019 and specialized in electrode micro-engineering. Its patent on solid-state batteries is related to microstructures, their manufacturing methods, and their use in inorganic/polymer solid electrolytes.
EnergyX, founded in 2018, specializes in Lithium mining. Its patent on solid-state batteries is co-filed with the University of Texas and is related to lithiated metal organic frameworks with a bound solvent for secondary battery applications.
Ionobell is an American material and battery manufacturer founded in 2017. Its patent on solid-state batteries is related to a silicon anode battery comprising polymer electrolyte.
ABM Nano is an American start-up material manufacturer established in 2018, specializing in nanomaterials. Its patent on solid-state batteries is related to lithium containing nano powders and/or mechanical alloys containing garnet solid electrolytes and their manufacturing methods.
Pure Lithium, established in 2019, commercializes lithium metal negative electrodes. Its patents on solid-state batteries are related to lithium deposition and battery using inorganic molten salts.
Auto Motive Power is an American energy management company founded in 2017, which provides charging and battery management systems. Its patent on solid-state batteries is related to a solid-state battery management system for high current applications.
Other notable start-ups
Meilleur Temps is a Swiss company founded in 2016 and specialized in the acquisition and licensing of patents. Its patent on solid-state batteries is related to nanostructured battery electrodes.
3D Battery is an Israeli start-up battery manufacturer established in 2017. Its patent on solid-state batteries is related to polymers and their use in energy storage devices.
Jintanjie (Gold Carbon) is a Taiwanese start-up founded in 2017, which develops graphene and carbon quantum dots and batteries using these materials. Its patent on solid-state batteries is related to an inorganic/polymer separator and its use in battery cells.
MakeSens is a Canadian electronic component manufacturer founded in 2017 and specialized in flexible and stretchable electronics. Its patent on solid-state batteries is co-filed with VITZRO Cell and relates to an electrode for a lithium secondary battery having a polymer-encapsulated active material and its manufacturing method.
Despite the domination of Japanese entities, new Japanese companies still entered the solid-state batteries-related patent landscape in 2022
Even though most Japanese companies had started filing patents on solid-state batteries many years earlier, some of them only joined the IP landscape in 2022, such as material manufacturers (Toyo Kohan, Nippon Denko), battery manufacturers (Prime Planet Energy & Solutions, Vehicle Energy Japan) and OEMs/End-users (Futaba, Tripod Design, Softbank).
Toyo Kohan’s patent on solid-state batteries is co-filed with Toyota and is related to a sulfide all-solid-state battery.
Nippon Denko’s patents on solid-state batteries are related to a garnet lithium ion-conductive oxide material with a high ionic conductivity.
PPES (Prime Planet Energy & Solutions) is a Japanese battery manufacturer founded in 2020 as a joint venture between Panasonic, Toyota, and Nexeon. Its patent on solid-state batteries is related to a negative electrode active material comprising solid electrolyte.
Vehicle Energy Japan is a Japanese battery manufacturer founded in 2004 as Hitachi Automotive Systems. The company changed its name in 2019 and was acquired by Nissan in 2022. Its two patent families on solid-state batteries are related to inorganic/polymer solid electrolyte sheets and their use in solid-state batteries.
Futaba specializes in cameras and displays. Its three patent families on solid-state batteries are related to tab leads and their use in solid-state batteries.
Softbank, a Japanese phone and internet operator, has a patent on solid-state batteries related to an organic positive electrode and its use in solid-state batteries.
Tripod Design specializes in the design of objects. Its patent on solid-state batteries is related to polymer battery, electrolyte sheet, separator, and battery module.
Several South Korean material manufacturers started their patenting activity on solid-state batteries in 2022
Several South Korean material manufacturers entered the patent landscape in 2022 (i.e., first solid-state battery-related patent published in 2022).
Kolon Industries is a South Korean chemical and textile manufacturing company. Its nine patent families on solid-state batteries are related to polymer electrolytes comprising polyacrylate functions.
Zain Chemical was founded in 2014. Its two patent families on solid-state batteries are related to polymer solid electrolytes.
EP Chemtech, established in 2007 and notable for commercializing battery materials, has a patent on solid-state batteries co-filed with Konkuk University, related to cross-linked polymer electrolytes monomer for addition and cross-linked polymer electrolytes film comprising it.
S.C.C. was established in 2011. Its patent on solid-state batteries is related to a method for manufacturing oxide solid electrolyte for secondary battery by molded articles.
Dongwoo Fine Chem, founded in 1991 and wholly owned by Sumitomo Chemical, has a patent on solid-state batteries related to argyrodite/polymer solid electrolyte.
Only few well-known European companies emerged in the patent landscape in 2022
Eleven European players entered the patent landscape in 2022, of which only a few are well-known companies (BYK Chemie, HeiQ Materials, Pellenc Energy).
BYK Chemie is a German chemical company and a subsidiary of Altana. It provides chemical additives for coatings, plastics, etc. Its patent on solid-state batteries is co-filed with Toyota and relates to an all-solid-state battery comprising a dispersant-containing layer with good solid electrolyte dispersibility.
HeiQ Materials is a Swiss material manufacturer founded in 2005 and specialized in textile materials. Its patent on solid-state batteries is related to an artificial solid-electrolyte interphase layer material and its use in solid-state batteries.
Pellenc Energy is a French battery manufacturer founded in 2013. Its patents on solid-state batteries relate to methods and equipment for manufacturing solid-state battery cells.
American IP newcomers are mainly material manufacturers
Several American companies entered the patent landscape in 2022, with the first patent on solid-state batteries being published that year. These companies include material manufacturers Ntherma, Zymergen, Ascend Element, PIDC, NEI Corporation, and Huntsman, as well as the battery manufacturer EnPower Greentech.
Ntherma, established in 2014, specializes in the development of carbon nanomaterials. Its patent on solid-state batteries is related to graphene nanoribbons comprising polymer solid electrolyte as electrode materials in energy storage devices.
Zymergen, founded in 2013, was acquired by Ginkgo Bioworks in July 2022. The company uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to study and modify microbes that produce chemicals. Its patent on solid-state batteries is related to polymer electrolytes for energy storage applications.
Ascend Element, a material manufacturer and recycling company established in 2015, has a patent on solid-state batteries related to the recycling of all-solid-state batteries and anode recovery.
PIDC (Pacific Industrial Development Corporation), founded in 1992, specializes in in alumina, zeolites, rare earths, inorganics, and mixed oxides. Its patent on solid-state batteries is related to a zeolite-based composite separator for a lithium-ion secondary battery.
NEI, founded in 1997 as Nanopower Enterprises, notably provides battery materials. Its patent on solid-state batteries is related to a polymer-based hybrid solid electrolyte that exhibits high room temperature ionic conductivity.
Huntsman develops materials for a wide range of industries such as energy and textiles. Its patent on solid-state batteries is related to a thermoplastic polyurethane based polymeric electrolyte composition.
Enpower Greentech develops and commercializes energy storage battery technologies and solutions for renewable energy and smart power applications. Its three patent families on solid-state batteries are co-filed with the University of Texas System (Austin, US) and are related to inorganic/polymer electrolyte membranes for alkali metal batteries. It is worth noting that Enpower Greentech is affiliated with the Chinese company Enpower Energy under a same holding group , and it has a Japanese subsidiary called Enpower Japan.
Few 2022 IP newcomers originating from emerging countries in the solid-state battery landscape
Two companies originating from India and Australia entered the solid-state batteries IP landscape in 2022. The Indian vehicle manufacturer Ola Electric, founded in 2017, filed two patent application related to sulfide/oxide solid electrolyte particulates and their preparation methods, as well as an anode-free polymer solid-state battery and its making method. The Australian anode material manufacturer Talga filed one patent application on a solid-state battery anode composition comprising sulfide glass ceramics.
Let’s follow how the solid-state Li-ion battery-related patent landscape will evolve in 2023
Patenting activities on solid-state Li-ion batteries are highly thriving and attractive at every level of the supply chain. In such a highly competitive and dynamic environment, it is increasingly critical to have good knowledge and follow up on the patent landscape and understand the R&D and IP strategies of the players. As such, KnowMade will continue to track and analyze the latest patenting activity of competitors engaged in the development of solid-state batteries in 2023 via its dedicated patent monitoring service.
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About the author
Fleur Thissandier, PhD, Fleur works for KnowMade in the field of Materials Chemistry and Energy storage. She holds a PhD in Materials Chemistry and Electrochemistry from CEA/INAC, (Grenoble, France). She also holds a Chemistry Engineering Degree from the Superior National School of Chemistry (ENSCM Montpellier, France). Fleur previously worked in battery industry as R&D Engineer.
KnowMade is a technology intelligence and IP strategy consulting company specialized in analyzing patents and scientific publications. The company helps innovative companies, investors, and R&D organizations to understand the competitive landscape, follow technological evolutions, reduce uncertainties, and identify opportunities and risks in terms of technology and intellectual property.
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