The manufacturers that file the most patents revealed

Toyota has filed twice as many patents as the next-highest brand

Photos: PA Motors

Toyota has been revealed as the car manufacturer that has filed the most patents over the past decade. The Japanese firm was well ahead of the next-highest firm, having filed 333,408 since 2011.

In second place was Hyundai, which added 162,839 patents, followed by Ford with 156,913. With Honda and Nissan taking fourth and fifth spots, it means Ford is the only firm in the top five that is not based in Asia.

However, it’s the American company that has forged ahead in the autonomous technology race, adding more than 14,000 patents in this field, about 1,500 more than its closest rival, Toyota.

The roles were reversed when it came to electric vehicle technology, though, with Toyota top of the list with 126,155 – more than double Ford’s 59,972.

The data was compiled by car dealership Bristol Street Motors using Google Patents, which collates information from more than 100 of the biggest patent offices in the world. It shows a massive decrease in the number of patents filed over the past two years.

Last year was likely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with the likes of Renault filing just 14 (down from 2,897) and Hyundai submitting 179 (down from 17,581 in 2018), representing a fall of more than 99 per cent for both companies. Overall, the number of patents filed by car brands dropped 89 per cent since 2018.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, one of the largest law firms in the world, said of the results: “Automotive is now the third most active sector for worldwide patent filings behind telecoms and computing – and the rate of growth is faster than in any other industry.”

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