Our Intellectual Property Mission
Provide competitive technology or strategic business advantage to FCE by vigorously protecting FCE’s strong IP position in Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) fuel cells, securing a strong IP position for selected other fuel cell-related technologies, and recognizing the innovative technology leadership of the FCE team.
The patents we have obtained will expire between 2016 and 2033 and the average remaining life of our U.S. patents is approximately 10.2 years. Our DFC power plants are protected by 93 U.S. and 94 international patents and we have also submitted 10 U.S. and 56 international patent applications. FCE’s SOFC technology is protected by 30 U.S. and 73 international patents. Our patent portfolio is constantly being updated with newly granted patents and publication of new applications. See the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (note that some of our older patents can be searched under our prior corporate name, Energy Research Corporation).
Our Trade Secrets and Protection of Our IP
Some of our intellectual property is not covered by any patent or patent application and includes trade secrets and other know-how that is not patentable, particularly as it relates to our manufacturing processes and engineering design.
We protect our proprietary IP, including trade secrets or other IP that may not be patented or patentable, with confidentiality agreements and (as applicable) inventors’ rights agreements with our subcontractors, vendors, suppliers, consultants, strategic partners and employees. We encourage our scientists and engineers to monitor our competitors, their products and their literature to stay abreast of the latest technology developments and to make sure our technology is not being used without our authorization.
Our Intellectual Property Strategy
We are continually developing improvements to our IP portfolio, including patents, trade secrets, software and/or copyrights, to:
- Prioritize our core fuel cell, stack, and manufacturing process technology improvements that reduce cost and/or improve performance
- Pursue innovative fuel cell and BOP system operations and system packaging that may have broad fuel cell applications
- Pursue fuel processing and fuel clean-up technology that may have broad fuel cell or other applications