Tesla supplier, Panasonic trails Samsung in battery patents

(Benzinga) – Japan is the world leader in battery innovations holding more than one-third of the total patents in this space, according to a joint study conducted by the European Patent Office and the International Energy Agency.

What Happened: The study found that 2,339 Japanese applications for international patents were published in 2018, the highest of any country, the Financial Times reported Sunday.

South Korea holds the second spot with 1,230 patents. The report stated that almost 45% of battery cell patents in 2018 were related to lithium-ion cells used in smart devices.

Trailing Japan and South Korea, the 38 countries that are a part of the European Patent Convention rank third followed by China in the fourth sport and the U.S. ranking fifth.

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (OTC: SSNLF) topped the leaderboard with 4,787 patent filings between 2000 to 2018, followed by Panasonic Corporation (OTC: PCRFY) with 4,046.

Why Does It Matter: Designing new and improved batteries could be crucial given the growing impetus for electric vehicles as well as next-generation smart devices.

A Nikkei Asian Review report suggested last month that the market for rechargeable batteries could exceed $25 billion by 2035. However, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA), thinks that the electric vehicle maker may still end up facing a shortfall when its high-volume production begins in 2022. Musk expressed concerns that there could be battery shortage even if all suppliers work at full capacity and Tesla takes its own initiatives to produce batteries.

Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE: TM) and Panasonic launched a joint venture Prime Planet Energy and Solutions in April to develop and supply cost-effective and safe electric car batteries.

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