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Japan: Toyota Leads In Hybrid, Electric Patent Filings, But Is It Really Ahead?

Here’s an interesting question for you: which automakers are currently leading when it comes to electric and hybrid car development?

Like us, you might have the inclination to chose Toyota or perhaps Nissan. After all, the Renault-Nissan alliance has already spent over $5.6 Billion on electric car development.

German patent law firm Grünecker disagree. According to a list combined by its in-house specialists on patent law, Toyota is well ahead, filing 2,454 patents in the past five years for hybrid and electric car technology. Nissan, in second place, has filed just 899.

Grünecker claims General Motors filed just 35 hybrid and electric car patents in the past five years. For the record, we find that hard to believe.

But can a company’s patent filings really give an indication to what lies ahead for the company? And who really is leading the hybrid and electric car market?
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