Old-Style Combustion Engines Get More Patents Than Electrics

The rev of combustion engines will be around for a while if patents are any indication of staying power.

Automakers were granted more protection last year on innovations to the 140-year-old technology than for electric cars, according to analytics platform Cipher. While the gap is narrowing, closing it will take another decade.

. . . Among the automakers, Japanese firms Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. Ltd still hold the highest number of patents because they’re more likely to file for incremental improvements. American and European firms tend to only file a patent for moderate or large improvements, Swycher said.

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