TOKYO—An independent survey has once again confirmed Japan’s Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO:6502) as the clear leader in Japan, the United States and Europe for patents covering oxide-based negative electrode technology for lithium-ion batteries. Conducted in September this year by Tokyo-based Patent Result Co., Ltd. (Patent Result), the result is a repeat of a 2016 survey by the same company and underlines Toshiba’s No. 1 position and strength-in-depth in this essential area.
Toshiba began R&D in oxide-based negative electrodes before 2000, with a focus on Lithium Titanate Oxide (LTO) negative electrodes. Typical lithium-ion batteries have carbon-based negative electrodes, but Toshiba recognized that LTO, an oxide-based negative electrode, offered excellent characteristics in six crucial areas: safety, long life, rapid charging, high input and output, low-temperature performance, and a wide effective state of charge. Toshiba first applied the technology in the SCiB™, the lithium-ion battery it brought to market in 2008.
Over more than 20 years, Toshiba has raised the competitiveness of its battery business and built a world-class patent portfolio by refining the results of its LTO R&D, selecting developments aligned with its business plans, and strategically filing patent applications. It has also expanded and reinforced the business by using the patents to build alliances with co-creators.
In both the 2016 and 2022 Patent Result surveys, Toshiba scored high on quantity and quality and comprehensive patent strengths, far outdistancing competitors awarded patents in Japan, the US and Europe. Toshiba attributes this No. 1 position to a research strategy that has concentrated on developing advanced technological capabilities and registering and using high quality patents acquired over the years.
The SCiB™ has won an excellent reputation for its safety, long life, and rapid charge and discharge characteristics, and has found a wide range of application in hybrid passenger cars and electric buses, rolling stock and ships, electric power management and automated guided vehicles used in industry. Its ability to help cut emissions of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide are expected to win new applications for the SCiB™ in a world that is accelerating efforts to realize carbon neutrality.
Toshiba will continue to promote research and development of battery technology that realizes safe, secure and efficient use of energy, and to support these efforts with a proactive patent strategy.