Germany is a leader in hydrogen patents

fight against climate change

  • Germany is the leader in the registration of hydrogen patents within the European Union (EU).
  • The Federal Republic accounts for eleven percent of the global patents filed . Japan is the country with the most hydrogen patents (24%) 

Germany is the leader in registering hydrogen patents in the European Union (EU). Globally, Japan has filed the most patents.

Brussels Belgium). A study by the European Patent Office (EPO) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) has investigated in which countries most patents on hydrogen technologies are registered. According to the authors, the study covers the full spectrum of hydrogen technologies, including production, storage and distribution, and end-uses.

The European Union (EU) accounts for more than a quarter of the hydrogen patents (28%). Japan is the country whose scientists and inventors filed the most hydrogen patents (24%) at two or more patent offices between 2011 and 2020. In the past ten years, both regions have had a strong record of registering hydrogen patents.

Germany leading in the EU

Germany is the leader within the EU . 11 percent of the globally registered hydrogen patents are in Germany. France (6%) and the Netherlands (3%) follow within the EU when it comes to registering relevant patents that are based on “a high-quality invention”.

The US is responsible for 20 percent of the relevant global hydrogen patents. As the only major applicant for international hydrogen patents, their share has fallen noticeably in the last decade. The international patent activity of South Korea (7%) and China (4%), on the other hand, showed a slight upward trend, but is still at a low level. Great Britain, Switzerland and Canada also only have a small share with two to three percent each.

Technologies for hydrogen production in focus

A large proportion of the patents during the study period related to technologies for generating hydrogen. Currently, a large part of the hydrogen is still obtained from fossil raw materials. However, to combat climate change, researchers are looking for low-emission methods that can be used to produce hydrogen, for example, using renewable energy. In 2022, a large proportion (80%) of the patents filed in the field of hydrogen production were for technologies intended to improve climate protection.

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