3d-printed Metals: A Patent Landscape Analysis – 2016

Report # SMP-PR-3DPM-0316
Published March 14, 2016

Metals-based 3D printing is one of the fastest growing sectors of the 3D printing business.  SmarTech 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 a report on the patent landscape presented by 3D-printed metals.

Coverage
This report is based on an extensive search of relevant patents and patent applications published after December 1, 1995 from the US and WO patent databases to identify a broad, yet relevant patent landscape related to metal powder materials used for 3D printing.  The report presents the quantitative patent landscape, which is essential to identifying the players, technologies, patent filing velocity, geographic distribution, and technology classifications in in the 3DP metals area.

This report – which is the only one of its kind — covers both process and materials patents and answers such vital questions as:

• What patents have been granted and what patent applications have been filed?
• What are the top cited patents?
• How many patents are being filed each year?
• Who are the most significant inventors, researchers and companies active in the field
• Which companies are making the earliest patent grants?
• What patent families are already claimed and where are the gaps in the IP landscape where new IP rights may be available?
• What is the geographic distribution and technological class distribution of these patents?

The processes covered in this report comprise: selective heat sintering/laser melting, stereololithography, fused deposition modeling, robocasting, electron beam manufacturing, ultrasonic consolidation, laser powder forming/laser engineered net shaping, direct metal laser sintering/melting, electron beam melting, powder bed, binder jetting, drop-on powder, etc.
This report has two components – (1) a 3d-printed patent database and (2) a granular analysis, commentary and guidance on the 3D printed patent environment by SmarTech’s in-house IP attorney. This report will be required reading for IP professionals at firms supplying metals to the 3DP industry as well as those at 3D printing equipment and service companies.  It is also aimed at patent attorneys, engineers, investment banks and others who need a comprehensive overview of 3D-printed metals activities.

SmarTech believes that understanding the patent landscape will build competitive advantage for purchasers of this report, and may enable firms to, for example, secure IP in the 3D printed metals space that are less populated, and also avoid patent disputes in the future.

3DP Patent Database
SmarTech’s patent database for 3D-printed metals will be based on searches across patents and published patent applications from US and WO patent databases published after December 1, 1995.

The database provides a summary of all relevant patents with details of each patent including:  patent/publication number, assignee, title, abstract, publication date, status of patent, PTO, priority country, priority years, and inventor.  Also included will be technical categorization of filed patent applications and granted patents and an identification of patent /patent application families.

This database is provided in an Excel spreadsheet so that the purchasers of this report can perform his or her own analytics with the data.

Commentary and Guidance
This section of the report contains SmarTech’s insider perspective on the patent scene for 3D-printed metals and where it is headed.  Coverage includes:

• The main filing trends for patents in the 3D-printed metals sector.
• Our thoughts on where patent filings are headed.
• The key areas of opportunity for new patent applications in this space
• Areas of patent saturation
• Areas that are key for licensing.
• Patent-related implications for new and emerging directions in the 3D-printed metals space

Considered together, SmarTech believes that 3D-Printed Metals:  A Patent Landscape Analysis – 2016 will provide exceptional value to participants in every part the 3D printing community.

Chapter One: Research Findings and Summary 
1.1 Factors Influencing the Speed of Development of Metal-based Additive Manufacturing
1.2 Patent Search Methodology
1.2.1 Categorization and Terminology
1.2.2 Key Assignees
1.3 Concerning Metal Powder-based 3D Printing Systems
1.3.1 United Technologies Corporation
1.3.2 Arcam
1.3.3 EOS
1.3.4 General Electric
1.3.5 Panasonic/Matsushita
1.3.6 Materialise NV
1.3.7 Siemens
1.3.8 Honeywell
1.3.9 ConforMIS
1.3.10 Husky Injection Molding
1.3.11 Alstom
1.3.12 The ExOne Company
Chapter Two: Active Universities 
2.1 Top Universities and Research Institutions
Chapter Three: Key Inventors
3.1 Top Inventors
Chapter Four: Patent Trend 
4.1 Inferences:  File Date Trends
Chapter Five: Key Patents Based on Forward Citation 
5.1 Most Frequently Cited References
Chapter Six: Technology Analysis 
6.1 U.S. Classification
6.1.1 Top Classification
6.1.2 Top Sub Classifications
6.2 Top IPC Classification
6.2.1 Top IPC Classifications
6.3 Technology Evolution
6.3.1 Inferences
Chapter Seven: Geographical Distribution

Chapter Eight: Granular Analysis 
8.1 Inferences Related to Metal Powders
8.2 Inferences Related to Manufacturing Processes
Chapter Nine: White Space Analysis 
Chapter Ten: Commentary and Guidance 
10.1 Areas of Patent Saturation
10.2 Areas with Opportunities for Patent Growth
10.3 Key Areas for Patent Licensing
Appendix A: Databases Used 
Patent search
About SmarTech Markets Publishing
About the Analyst
Acronyms and Abbreviations Used In this Report 

List of Exhibits
Exhibit 1-1: Updated Expectations and Outcomes on Key Metal AM Influencing Factors
Exhibit 1-2: Key Assignees, Top Companies
Exhibit 2-1: Active Universities and Research Institutions
Exhibit 3-1: Top Ten Inventors In Subject Field
Exhibit 4-1: Patent Filing Trend
Exhibit 4-2: Patent filing Trend by Publication Date
Exhibit 5-1: Key Patent References by Forward Citation
Exhibit 6-1: USC Distribution By Main U.S. Technology Classifications
Exhibit 6-2: USC Distribution By U.S. Technology Sub Classifications
Exhibit 6-3: IPC Distribution By Main IPC Technology Classifications
Exhibit 6-4: Main IPC Classifications Related to Subject Field
Exhibit 6-5: Evolution of Technology, by Patent Assignee
Exhibit 6-6: Technology Evolution by U.S. Class
Exhibit 6-7: Technology Evolution by IPC Class
Exhibit 7-1: The Publication of Patent References in the U.S. and WIPO Jurisdictions, 2006 to 2016
Exhibit 7-2: Below, the U.S. Shares 58% of Relevant References and the Rest are in WIPO
Exhibit 8-1: The Pie Chart Shows the Distribution of Metal Powders Used for 3D Printing Technology
Exhibit 8-2: The Pie Chart Shows the Distribution of Different Manufacturing Process Used for 3D Printing Technology
Exhibit 9-1: Trends of Patent Abandonment
Exhibit 9-2: Rate of Patent Survivorship by Year


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