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Toyota issued 1,491 patents in 2012 to take automaker top spot

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Toyota beat all its carmaker competitors for the title of most US patent filings last year, hands down. The Intellectual Property Owners Association reported that Toyota had 1,491 patents issued in 2012 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. So, what is Toyota doing to generate that many patents?

Two Toyota engineers each earned their 20th patent in 2012.

Toyota is driven to invention by its “commitment to ever better cars that achieve new environmental, safety and technological advancements,” the company said in its press release (available below). Or, as USA Today put it, patents “reflect automakers’ successes in research and development and also signal their ability to create tomorrow’s breakthroughs.” Two Toyota engineers at the Toyota Technical Center (TTC) in Michigan, Minjuan Zhang, manager, Toyota Research Institute NA, and Charan Lota, manager, electronic systems at TTC, each earned their 20th patent in 2012.

Toyota’s overall patent figure shot up 30 percent compared to 2011 as part of Toyota’s commitment to fostering ingenuity and staying in touch with what customers want, according to Toyota. It makes sense that Toyota is investing in innovations as government and consumers expect more from automakers with connected cars, safety and green, advanced technologies. Toyota’s recent patents have been filed to cover a gamut of new technologies, things like “smart materials” that help resist insect splatter and improvements in vehicle communication systems.

Toyota may have won the 2012 challenge, but General Motors and Honda say they lead the way when it comes to fuel cell patents, which may be important since the two companies just announced a hydrogen partnership. Specifically, the two companies said, they “rank No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in total fuel cell patents filed between 2002 and 2012, with more than 1,200 between them.”

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Toyota issued 1,491 patents in 2012 to take automaker top spot originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Wed, 10 Jul 2013 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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