FRANKFURT, March 13 A regulatory push to lower
carbon dioxide emissions has helped raise international patent
filings in the automobile industry 18 percent in 2013, the World
Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) said on Thursday.
"In line with growing investments in research and
development, the automobile industry has seen a sharp increase
in international patent filings over the last three years," WIPO
said in a statement.
In 2013, 4,275 patents were filed by auto manufacturers,
compared with 3,606 in 2012. Patent applications jumped 84
percent from 2010, when 2,322 were filed, WIPO said.
With 1,696 published patent applications, Toyota Motor Corp
is ranked highest among the auto makers that make use
of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), followed by Nissan Motor
Co, Honda Motor Co, Daimler AG and
Audi AG, WIPO said.
The ranking is not a definitive indication of which
companies are most innovative, a WIPO spokesman said. It is
merely an indication of which companies make most use of the
Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), which helps companies seeking
patent protection in multiple jurisdictions by filing a single
international patent application.
Some auto makers may prefer to file their patents directly
in other countries without using the PCT, or only in their home
countries. General Motors Co. for example, filed no
patents via the PCT in 2013, according to WIPO.
However, General Motors points out that according to The
Patent Board, a consultancy which pulls together patent grants
and application data from the United States Patent and Trade
Office (USPTO), the European Patent Office (EPO) and WIPO,
General Motors received 1,672 U.S. patents in 2013.