Patent analysis and intellectual property strategy

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Patent analysis of engine coolant and Discussion on intellectual property strategy

engine coolant is an important part of automotive chemicals. Especially with the continuous development of automotive engine technology, the performance of engine coolant directly determines whether the engine can operate normally, efficiently and for a long time. According to statistics, 20% of the faults of light load engines come from the engine cooling system; 40% of the faults of heavy load engines come from the engine cooling system. Therefore, every upgrading of engine technology is accompanied by the upgrading of engine coolant technology. At the same time, major coolant manufacturers in the world are scrambling to apply for patents in order to occupy more coolant market share

patent documents are highly standardized and international technical documents. Primary patent documents of all countries in the world are mainly composed of title pages (recording bibliographic items, abstracts), specifications (detailed technical solutions), claims (technical features of inventions that need to be protected) and other parts. According to statistics, 90% - 95% of the technologies in the world were first disclosed in the form of patent documents, so the secondary processing and analysis of patent documents has far-reaching strategic significance. This paper analyzes the patent of engine coolant based on more than 600 published secondary patent documents that can be retrieved in the international online system from 1980 to 2005. Its purpose is to understand the situation and position of our country in the field of engine coolant patents, explore how to break the patent monopoly of multinational companies, and offer skills and suggestions for our country's engine coolant industry to occupy a place in the patent field

patent analysis of engine coolant

1 The common patent analysis means

scientific analysis of the retrieved patent documents is a key step to obtain patent information. The commonly used analysis method is the patent map theory, which applies the statistical analysis method to the primary, secondary and tertiary patent documents and patent related information according to the different classification and in-depth situation of the economic and technical information that needs to be understood, and makes various charts for analysis and interpretation. The patent map theory was first developed in Japan in the 1960s and quickly became the main means of patent analysis in all countries in the world. Its statistical charts can be roughly divided into two categories: one is the business map, which analyzes the possession, priority, and business aspects of the same family patents, technology life cycle, classification number of each country, company, and related technology; the other is the technical map, which analyzes the contents of each patent technology in detail, It has a strong practical significance for realizing the patent application strategy and stimulating research inspiration. This paper only uses the simplest chart to briefly analyze the patent situation of engine coolant

2. Patent applications in major producing countries

see Figure 1 for the patent applications in major producing countries of engine coolant

the corresponding number of countries is the number of valid published patent applications accepted by national patent offices from 1980 to 2005, which reflects the contents of the following two aspects

· the level of activity of scientific and Technological Development in this field in the country

· the current and potential commercial value of the country in this field

it can be seen from Figure 1 that in the field of engine coolant, the United States, Japan and Europe are the world's most dynamic indicators of science and technology, with a volatility of 3% FS; Developed countries and regions Both are far ahead, especially Japan, as the world's largest patent country, whose engine coolant applications are higher than those of other countries and regions. A considerable number of applications for engine coolant in Japan are not basic patents, but applications submitted by various countries in Japan through the PCT treaty, reflecting the current situation and market position of Japan as the world's first automobile manufacturer. Most of the applications in the United States and Europe are basic patents, which are the birthplace of the world's engine coolant technology after replacement

the number of applications in China is only a fraction of that in the United States, Japan and Europe, not as much as that in South Korea, and nearly half of them are submitted by foreign countries through the PCT treaty. This is not commensurate with China's status as the world's fourth largest auto producer, but also reflects the severity of the hollowing out of technology in China's auto industry to a considerable extent

3. Patent analysis of major manufacturers

from 1980 to 2005, the proportion of patent applications effectively disclosed by the world's major engine coolant manufacturers is shown in Figure 2. This number reflects the following two aspects

· technical strength in this field

· attention to this field

from Figure 2, the European Party Central Committee and the State Council decided that BASF and Texaco in the United States accounted for more than half of the patent applications, which confirmed the fact that the United States and Europe are the main birthplaces of engine coolant technology in the world. At the same time, it also reminded all engine coolant manufacturers to focus on the patents of BASF and Texaco in the United States, so as to prevent patent infringement and keep up with their technological development

4. Analysis of patent technology development

see figure

3 for the development of engine coolant patent technology It can be seen from Figure 3 that the number of patent applications for all model coolant has increased explosively since 1995, and the strong driving force behind this growth comes from BASF in Europe and Texaco in the United States. However, in recent years, the number of patent applications for all types of coolant has shown a downward trend, which is closely related to the rapid maturity of organic carboxylic acid compounding technology in various countries, indicating that more advanced compounding technology is ready. The number of patent applications for semi existing coolant has declined, mainly from Ashland company and fleetguard company in the United States. This type of coolant is mainly used in the cooling system of heavy-duty diesel engines and is a product under ASTM d4985 and ASTM d6210 standards. It is only a matter of time before inorganic salt type coolants are completely eliminated

the development of engine coolant technology closely follows the development of engine technology. The advent of a new generation of engines will inevitably promote the upgrading of engine coolant technology. With the application of magnesium alloy materials in engines, ordinary organic shuttle acid coolant can no longer meet the corrosion inhibition requirements of more active magnesium elements under high temperature conditions. BASF and Texaco applied for magnesium alloy engine coolant containing amine and fluoride as early as 1997, as shown in Figure 4. Moreover, it applied for foreign priority designation in China at the first time, and entered China through PC Ding to obtain Chinese patent rights. However, up to now, the number of magnesium alloy engines in vehicles in China is very small, and the corrosion inhibition research of magnesium alloy is still in the laboratory stage. BASF and Texaco have targeted the Chinese market as early as 10 years ago, and the depth and breadth of their intellectual property strategy research can be seen

patents for low conductivity coolant dedicated to fuel cells and high thermal conductivity coolant for high power density engines have appeared in recent years. In order to achieve leapfrog development of technology, great attention should be paid to the above two coolants

intellectual property strategy of engine coolant

in other fields of our country, patent wars in fields such as electronics, communications, biology and so on are going on like a raging fire, while the field of engine coolant is calm, which may give you an illusion that the market value of engine coolant is not large, and multinational companies are not worth fighting for it. But not long ago, general motors of the United States was heavily claimed by Evans company for infringement of anhydrous coolant, which sounded an alarm for us. At present, multinational companies have not filed patent infringement lawsuits against Chinese engine coolant manufacturers for the following reasons

· due to the regional reasons of patents and the negligence of multinational companies in the early stage, they did not apply for Chinese patents, so they had no right to file patent infringement lawsuits against Chinese engine coolant manufacturers. However, this does not mean that it is all right to start from one production line. Once this type of engine coolant enters the patent granting country, it will constitute infringement, which greatly restricts the export of this type of engine coolant and the export of equipment equipped with this type of engine coolant

· the level of engine coolant technology in China is backward, and the technology used is a foreign patented technology 20 years ago, that is, it has exceeded the patent protection period and become a well-known technology

· China's engine coolant market is immature, the automotive industry technology is backward, and the market share of high-end, high value-added coolant is very low, so it has no litigation value. Once China's engine coolant market matures, China's national automotive industry Enter the international market in an all-round way, complete the large-scale upgrading of inorganic salt type to organic type coolant, and a large number of new engines enter the market. Then the patent strategic layout of multinational companies in the late 1990s will begin to play a role

how to break the patent barrier is a key issue for China's industries in all fields A matter of life and death faced by enterprises. The painful lesson of the electronic communication industry is at hand. The patent of engine coolant basically belongs to chemical composition, and the key to protection is composition and content. Now, when applying for patents, multinational companies also enclose the land in terms of composition and content, and have completed the full occupation of the mainstream coolant technology used in the next 10 years. The situation is grim, and we must make breakthroughs in the following aspects

· invest human and material resources to carry out special engine coolant patent analysis. All patent strategies must be based on comprehensive and thorough patent analysis. Make a huge patent map and knowledge tree system in order to mine patent mines and find patent gaps to avoid infringement. Through the analysis of the priority of multinational companies and the patents of the same family, we can demonstrate the importance of the patent, the business strategies of competitors and other important information, but these important strategic information comes from the deep processing of patent information

· confirm basic patents on the basis of patent analysis, find patent gaps, apply for a large number of peripheral patents, and strive to block upstream patents after obtaining cross compulsory licenses. This strategy was widely used in patent applications in Japan in the late 1960s and continues to the present

· on the basis of patent analysis, when looking for applications submitted abroad and applying for foreign priority, Chinese invention patents were not selected, and valuable technologies were selected from the patent group for my use. This is very beneficial to quickly and safely improve the technical level of our country in this field

· on the basis of patent analysis and under the condition of confirming the stability of its legal status, the patent technology with great market potential can be applied for its application right, priority, patent right, patent exclusive license and The applicant and the patentee make an early acquisition

· strengthen the research and development of basic patents. In the field of engine coolant, the basic patent research and development direction should be focused on magnesium alloy engine coolant, fuel cell coolant and high heat conductivity coolant of high power density engine. Only by obtaining basic patents can we establish our own patent barriers and take the initiative in the market


engine coolant, as an important liquid accessory of automobile, is facing the same severe situation as other industries in terms of intellectual property rights. Engine coolant manufacturers should first conduct professional patent analysis, and then conduct intellectual property strategy research suitable for China's national conditions. While conducting strategic research, they should also refer to the skills adopted by Japan and South Korea. In this regard, the combination with automobile manufacturers will be more conducive to the common breakthrough of patent barriers between the two sides. (end)

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