IEEE reported on a a study from Semiconductor Insights analyzing U.S. patents in solar technology and trends in U.S. solar patents by company and technology. The study found that Canon, TSMC and Samsung are among the largest patent holders in solar photovoltaic panels, although they have no products in the field today. By contrast, the study found that many of the world's biggest producers of solar panels hold relatively few patents on the technology.
From the article:
The panel makers may be adopting a strategy of getting to market quickly by licensing or acquiring existing technology, the report said. "Surely, they may face big challenges from companies with more solid patent portfolios and who are savvier when it comes to protecting their intellectual property," it added.
As many as 600 companies are involved in solar panel market, with as many as 60 new companies joining each year since 2000, according to the report. "This has produced an extremely fragmented market and will no doubt provide many opportunities for consolidation over the next decade," it concluded.
Read the article here (link)