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IntelStor has released a new research report on the wind turbine technology and intellectual property (IP) landscape. 
The research shows that the US has the greatest number of patent filings on wind turbine technology and companies have collectively spent over US$ 143 million on IP protection with over 7,200 individual patent filings there.  Europe is second at US$ 112 million with over 5,100 filings and China third at US$44 million with over 3,700 filings. Globally, the entire wind industry has spent US$ 430 million to date on patent protection on more than 32,800 patent filings.  Costs are expected to escalate, with US$ 1 billion to be spent by 2020 and US$ 2 billion by 2030. IP ownership shows General Electric leading with 1,300 patent families, and Vestas, Siemens, Mitsubishi and Sinovel rounding out the top five.  Ranking in IP ownership appears to closely coincide with commercial success in the industry.  The top 10 wind turbine manufacturers control more than 54% of all wind patent filings, as well as over 80% of the patents which are broadly applicable to the entire industry or potentially infringed. Some smaller companies with healthy IP portfolios appear to be bolstering their position as merger and acquisition (M&A) targets. Consolidation is expected to happen in the next 12 – 18 months in the wind turbine manufacturing sector as demand returns, but manufacturing capacity has now been constrained. Intellectual capital will play a significant role in that M&A.
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