Tesla Motors: Patent Portfolio Overview

Tesla Motors is ranked as the world’s best-selling plug-in and battery electric passenger car manufacturer. It owns a market share of 16% of the plug-in segment (which includes hybrids) and 23% of the total electric segment 2020 sales.

Apart from electric cars and batteries, through its subsidiary SolarCity, Tesla develops and installs solar systems in the United States. Below are 12 key highlights of Tesla’s patent portfolio:

How many patents does Tesla Motors have?

Tesla has a total of 3304 patents globally. These patents belong to 986 unique patent families. Out of 3304 patents, 2147 patents are active.

How many Tesla patents are Alive/Dead?

Worldwide Patents

Patent Families

What technologies are protected by Tesla Patents?

How Many Patents did Tesla File Every Year?

The drop in patent filing in recent years is because patent applications filed during the last two years are still in the process of being published. So, it doesn’t suggest a decrease in the patent filing.

We included all the family members to plot the filing trend. A patent family can have multiple patent documents – filed globally or in a single country – covering a single invention.

Year of Patents Filing or GrantTesla Applications FiledTesla Patents Granted
201122166
201222787
2013205125
2014192131
2015350110
2016315158
2017247182
2018325231
2019147199
202056181

How Many Patents did Tesla File in Different Countries?

Countries in which Tesla Filed Patents

CountryPatents
United States of America1515
Europe303
China269
Japan250
South Korea163
Hong Kong72
Australia61
Germany57
Canada47
Great Britain24
India21
Mexico21
Austria13
Taiwan11
Spain10
Brazil8
Malaysia6
Hungary4
Israel4
Russia4
Chile3
South Africa3
Denmark2
Portugal1
Singapore1

The chart below distributes patents filed by Tesla in different countries on the basis of the technology protected in patents. It also represents the markets where Tesla thinks it’s important to protect particular technology inventions.

Where are Research Centers of Tesla Located?

The exhibit below is plotted by considering the country where an invention in a patent family was introduced for the first time. In turn, this helps find the R&D centers across the globe and lets us peek into the kind of research going on in a particular country.

How R&D Direction of Tesla Changed Over the Years?

How Many Tesla Patents Earlier Belonged to Other Companies?

The chart below breaks Tesla’s patents on the basis of their first owner. 48% of the patent families in Tesla’s patent portfolio are acquired and aren’t originally filed by Tesla.

10 Best Tesla Patents

US7923144B2 is the most popular (cited 575 times in other patents) patent of Tesla. It received citations from companies like Samsung, BMW, and Ethicon Llc.

Below is the list of 10 most cited patents of Tesla:

Publication NumberCount of Citing Patents
US7923144B2575
US20090139781A1322
US7592537B1276
US20080312782A1193
US8109048B2170
US7925552B2167
US7698078B2166
WO2006048688A1147
US7987641B2141
US20080264477A1129

Which Companies are Building on Tesla’s Research?

The top-cited technologies in Tesla’s patent portfolio are Energy Generation & Storage and Battery Technology. LG, Ford Motor, and Samsung are the top forward citing assignees. The table below shows how many applications of different assignees are citing Tesla’s patents.

Top Forward Citing Assignees
Forward Citing AssigneesApplication Count
LG156
Ford Motor143
Samsung133
Sunpower108
GM Global Technology Operations108
Solarcity91
Robert Bosch91
Toyota62
IBM61
Hyundai Motor48

What is the Success Rate of Tesla Motors at the USPTO?

Tesla has filed 1268 patent applications at USPTO so far (Excluding Design and PCT applications). Out of these 902 have been granted leading to the grant rate of 80.25%.

Below are the key stats of Tesla’s patent prosecution at the USPTO.

Top Patent Law Firms that Filed Most Patents for Tesla at the USPTO

Law FirmTotal ApplicationsSuccess Rate
Knobbe Martens52790.85%
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton25785.16%
Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear11880.81%
Park Vaughan Fleming & Dowler6753.73%
Dentons US5470.97%
Fitch Even Tabin & Flannery2896.43%
Tucker Ellis8100.0%

One more thing, We have converted this entire analysis in PDF form that you can download and save for later reading (or sharing with your friends). You can download it using the form below:

Updated on October 27, 2021

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