3D Printed Metals: A Patent Landscape Analysis - 2018

  • ID: 4659470
  • Report
  • 98 pages
  • SmarTech Markets Publishing LLC
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Metals-based 3D printing is one of the fastest growing sectors of the 3D printing industry.  The researcher has already published widely on the growing market opportunities available in this space.  Building on our extensive knowledge and understanding of this area, we are now offering an updated and revamped report on the patent landscape for 3D-printed metals. This report will be one of a series of reports on the 3D printing patent landscape.

Coverage
The 2018 report is based on an extensive search of relevant U.S. and foreign patents issued over a 20-year rolling period and patent applications published through June 2018 related to metals used for 3D printing and processes for making such metals.  This report – which is the only one of its kind — has two components: (1) a 3D printing metals patent database and (2) a visually illustrative presentation of the data in charts and graphs, accompanied by granular analysis and guidance by an in-house IP analyst.

Topics covered by the analysis in the report include top assignees, top inventors, top filing countries, which companies are using which metals for which 3D printing processes, patent coverage of specific 3D printing metals, patent survival rates, and expiring patents.  The database contains almost 2,300 entries.

This 3D printed metals patent analysis report covers such vital questions as:

Which companies are obtaining patents in the 3D printed metals space?

  • Top 20 companies
  • Cumulatively, over a 20-year rolling period
  • Subsisting patents
  • Published applications
  • Patent filing and issuance trends over a 20-year rolling period

Which universities and research institutions are obtaining patents in the 3D printed metals space?

  • Top 20 institutions
  • Patent filing and issuance trends over a 20-year rolling period

Who are the inventors in this space?

  • Top 20 inventors
  • Top inventors by company
  • Patent filing and issuance trends over a 20-year rolling period

What are the patent filing and issuance trends over a 20-year rolling period (total numbers)?

  • U.S.
  • WIPO countries

Which patents are being cited against pending applications (forward citation)?

  • Top 20 references, ranked
  • Top 20 references, by description

How is technology in this space distributed among patent classifications?

  • U.S. classes
  • International classes

How has the technology evolved, by company?

  • U.S. Classes
  • International classes

How has the technology evolved, by type?

  • U.S. Classes
  • International classes

Which countries are leading patent issuance in this space?

  • Top 20 countries, cumulatively
  • Top 20 countries, current
  • Top inventors, by country

How are metals patents distributed?

  • By type of metal
  • By company
  • By 3D printing process

How are metals applications distributed?

  • By process and company

What is the patent landscape for metals?

  • By type of metal
  • By 3D printing process that uses the metal
  • By company

What are the trends in patent abandonment in this space?

  • 20-year rolling period

What metals patents are expiring in this space over a 3-year rolling period?

This 3D printed metals patent analysis report will be required reading for anyone who makes or uses metals for 3D printing, or who wants to identify opportunities or risks in this space.  It is aimed at CTOs, inventors and researchers, patent attorneys, investors, and others who need a comprehensive overview of the 3D printed metals patent landscape.

Patent Database
This patent database for 3D printed metals is based on searches for U.S. and WIPO patents and published patent applications over a 20-year rolling period. The database provides the following details: patent/publication number, assignee, title, abstract, filing date, publication date, status, PCT data, priority date, priority country, inventor, patent family information, forward citation, backward citation.

This database is provided in an Excel spreadsheet so that users can perform their own analytics with the data.

3D Printed Metals:  A Patent Landscape Analysis – 2018 will provide exceptional value to participants in every part the 3D printing community.

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Chapter One: Research Findings and Summary
1.1 Patent Database
1.2 Patent Search Methodology and Cutoff

Chapter Two: Assignees
2.1 Top 50 Assignees: Cumulative U.S. Patents
2.1.1 Analysis
2.2 Top 50 Assignees: Subsisting U.S. Patents
2.2.1 Analysis
2.3 Top 50 Assignees: Published US Applications
2.3.1 Analysis
2.4 Top 20 Assignees: U.S. Patents and Applications
2.4.1 Analysis
2.5 Assignee Activity Over Time
2.5.1 Analysis

Chapter Three: Universities and Research Institutions
3.1 Top 20 Universities and Research Institutions: Patents and Applications
3.1.1 Analysis
3.2 Institutional Activity Over Time
3.2.1 Analysis

Chapter Four: Key Inventors
4.1 Top 20 Inventors
4.1.1 Analysis
4.2 Top 20 Inventors by Assignee
4.2.1 Analysis
4.3 Inventor Activity Over Time
4.3.1 Analysis

Chapter Five: Patents and Published Applications
5.1 Issued U.S. Patents and Published Applications: Trends
5.1.1 Analysis
5.2 WIPO Published Applications
5.2.1 Analysis

Chapter Six: Forward Citation
6.1 Top 20 Patent References (Forward Citation): Rank
6.1.1 Analysis
6.2 Top 20 Patent References (Forward Citation): Description

Chapter Seven: Classification
7.1 Relevant US Patent Main Classes and Subclasses - Definitions
7.2 Technology Distribution: U.S. Main Classes
7.2.1 Analysis
7.3 Technology Distribution: U.S. Main Classes – Percentage of Applications
7.3.1 Analysis
7.4 Technology Distribution: U.S. Sub-Classes
7.4.1 Analysis
7.5 Technology Distribution: U.S. Sub-Classes – Percentage
7.5.1 Analysis
7.6 Relevant International Classes
7.7 Technology Distribution: International Classifications
7.7.1 Analysis
7.8 Technology Distribution: International Classes – Percentage
7.8.1 Analysis
7.9 Technology Evolution By Assignee and U.S. Class
7.9.1 Analysis
7.10 Technology Evolution By Assignee and International Class
7.10.1 Analysis
7.11 Technology Evolution By U.S. Class
7.11.1 Analysis
7.12 Technology Evolution By International Class
7.12.1 Analysis

Chapter Eight: Top Countries By Patent Issuance
8.1 Top Countries of Patent Issuance: Cumulative
8.1.1 Analysis
8.2 Top Assignees in Top Countries
8.2.1 Analysis

Chapter Nine: Technology Analysis
9.1 Metals Patents Distribution
9.1.1 Analysis
9.2 Metals Patents by Assignee (U.S.)
9.2.1 Analysis
9.3 Metals Patents and Applications by Process (U.S.)
9.3.1 Analysis

Chapter Ten: Legal Status
10.1 U.S. Patent Abandonment: Trends
10.1.1 Analysis
10.2 U.S. Patent Survival
10.2.1 Analysis

Chapter Eleven: Expected Expiration Data
11.1 Expected Expiration Data
11.1.1 Analysis

Chapter Twelve: Closing Commentary
12.1 Top Assignees
12.2 Experience
12.3 Inventors
12.4 Worldwide Patent Filing and Issuance
12.4.1 Forward Citation
12.4.2 Patent Coverage
12.4.3 Patent Expiration
12.5 Opportunities

Chapter Thirteen: Synonym Matrix - Keywords
13.1 Important Search Terms and Alternative Terminologies

Appendix A: Databases and Acronyms
A-1 Patent databases searched

Acronyms Used In this Report
About the Analyst

List of Exhibits
Exhibit 2-1: Top 50 Assignees: Cumulative U.S. Patents Data Table for Exhibit 2-1
Exhibit 2-2: Top 50 Assignees: Subsisting US Patents Data Table for Exhibit 2-2
Exhibit 2-3: Top 50 Assignees: Published US Applications Data Table for Exhibit 2-3
Exhibit 2-4: Top 20 Assignees: U.S. Patents and Applications
Table 2-5: Assignee Activity Over Time
Exhibit 3-1: Top 20 Universities and Research Institutions: Patents and Applications
Table 3-2: Institutional Activity Over Time
Exhibit 4-1: Top 20 Inventors
Exhibit 4-2: Top 20 Inventors by Assignee
Table 4-3: Inventor Activity Over Time
Exhibit 5-1: Issued US Patents and Published Applications: Trends
Table 5-2: WIPO Published Applications
Exhibit 6-1: Top 20 Patent References (Forward Citation)
Exhibit 6-2: Descriptions of the top 20 forward Patent Citations for 20-Year Period
Exhibit 7.1.1: U.S. Main classes and definitions
Exhibit 7.1.2: U.S. Sub-classes and definitions
Exhibit 7-2: Technology Distribution: U.S. Main Classes
Exhibit 7-3: Technology Distribution: U.S. main Classes – Percentage of Applications
Exhibit 7-4: Technology Distribution: U.S. Sub-Classes
Exhibit 7-5: Technology Distribution: U.S. Sub-Classes – Percentage
Exhibit 7-6: International Patent classes and definitions
Exhibit 7-7: Technology Distribution: International Classes
Exhibit 7-8: Technology Distribution: International Classes -Percentage Data Table for Exhibit 7-8
Table 7-9: Technology Evolution By Assignee and U.S. Class
Table 7-10: Technology Evolution By Assignee and IPC class
Table 7-11: Technology Evolution By U.S. Class
Table 7-12: Technology Evolution By International Class
Exhibit 7-9: Class with Least Inventive Activity
Table 8-1: Top Countries By Patent Issuance: Cumulative Country key for Table 8-1
Table 8-2: Top Assignees in Top Countries
Table 9-1: Metals Patents Distribution
Table 9-2: Metals Patents by Assignee (U.S.)
Exhibit 10-1: U.S. Patent Abandonment Trends
Exhibit 10-2: U.S. Patent Survival
Exhibit 11-1: Expected Patent Expiration Data

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GE and HC Starck have the broadest 3D printed metals patent coverage.  Although GE and Starck own the same number of 3D printing metals patents, GE appears to be focused more on nickel and titanium and Starck appears to be focused more on tantalum and niobium. Hitachi has the third broadest coverage with Cabot in fourth and Hamilton Sundstrand at fifth place. EOS and GE have taken strong patent positions which will provide them with advantages over other metal machine companies such as 3D Systems which has lower patent coverage than the researcher would have expected.

Metals for Powder Bed Fusion appear to have the widest coverage in the 3D metals patent database.  EOS has the broadest coverage for such metals, with patents for aluminum, steel, tungsten, and noble metals.  Hamilton Sundstrand has the second broadest coverage, with patents for aluminum, ferrous steel, and nickel.

There are many patents for the various types of metal powders (about 70% of the references) for use in Powder Bed Fusion and Binder Jetting applications.  However, there appear to be fewer patents for metals for Material Extrusion (e.g., metal-filled rods and filaments), Material Jetting (e.g., liquified metal particles), and Directed Energy Deposition (e.g., wire and aerosolized powders). The rsearcher sees this as a technology gap that firms could look to exploit.

While patent litigation is fairly minimal at this point in time, the rsearcher sees that situation changing as the metal 3D printing market continues to grow.   The firm expects to see greater activity in firms looking to protect market position or invalidate existing patents.  Expect more efforts to drive licensing relationships as well.

Universities and research institutions are important owners of 3D printing metals patents and applications.  While they do not manufacture and sell such metals, their patents and applications are sought for licensing for companies looking to secure strong market positions and can produce large annual revenues for the companies.

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