Wednesday, 21 July 2010

A low patent count portfolio strategy?

At the beginning of 2010, business consulting company Frost & Sullivan awarded their Entrepreneurial Company of the Year award to EVO Electric Ltd, a spin-out from Imperial College London in the field of green automotive technology. As noted here in April, F&S appeared to place more emphasis on innovation in EVO’s business processes than on technical innovation as measured by patent filings.

A similar emphasis on the part of EVO is suggested by a 1 June 2010 press release to investors, which announces:

“the launch of its new generation of Axial Flux motor and generator technology, which promises to dramatically improve the cost, performance and efficiency of hybrid and electric vehicle powertrains. Applications include hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles, range extenders, auxiliary power units (APU) and integrated starter-generator (ISG) systems. The new generation of Axial Flux products offers the highest power density among electric motors currently available for automotive applications.”
Despite this announcement, no new patent filings in the name of EVO Electric are indicated on the electronic UK IP Office Journal. Rather, the last UK application would appear to have been filed in February 2009.


Nick White Tangible IP said...

Perhaps it’s the end to “never mind the quality feel the width” in the world of patent portfolios? Could it be simply that they have adequately covered all the commercially relevant inventions in their previous patent filings?

Japser said...

> Rather, the last UK application would appear to have been filed in February 2009.

I am not very familiar with the UK IP Office Journal, but could it have to do with the fact that patent applications remain secret until 18 months after the priority date?
Then again, how would you be able to notice a patent application filed 17 months ago. Request for early publication? It is an option some of my clients prefer.

Alternatively,they could have started filing with the EPO rightaway, given that the obligation to file first in the UK has been abandoned?