EV Charger Market

FedInvent Patent Applications for November 4, 2021

Hello from FedInvent,

Here are the latest inventions from the federal innovation ecosphere. On Thursday, November 4, 2021, USPTO published 7,820 pre-grant patent applications. The published patent applications include 259 that benefitted from taxpayer funding. Two hundred fifty-nine (259) is a lot for one week, so it took the team a little longer to analyze what we found.

The FedInvent Patent Application Report is available here.  If you prefer to view the applications by Department, start here.

Take Me To the FedInvent Report

Here is a sample of what we found in Thursday's applications.

  • Electric Vehicle Charger Economics

  • New Work from the Nobelists

  • More CRISPR

  • EV Charging Arbitrage

  • Patent Application Potpourri

  • LIDAR Scofflaws

  • And the Numbers

Electric Vehicle Charger Economics — Read This Patent

The House finally voted to approve the Infrastructure Bill passed by the Senate two and a half months ago. Progress. The $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill provides $7.5 billion in charging network investments over five years, with a portion set aside for low-income and rural areas. According to Reuters, High-speed charging units that can top up a vehicle battery in half an hour cost around $100,000 to build. Experts estimate the chargers need to be used at least 20% of the day to operate profitably at current rates - prompting many charging providers to place them in areas with higher anticipated use. The Biden Administration seeks to add capabilities in rural and lower-income areas.  

Most of the discussion on EV chargers deals with building the chargers and not on the actual delivery of electricity from the grid to the chargers and to the vehicles. The metrics for electric charging are different than gas-powered vehicles. Electric vehicle fuel efficiency is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh) per 100 miles. The cost per mile for an EV is measured by how much electricity is used to travel 100 miles. If electricity costs $0.13 per kWh and the vehicle consumes 33 kWh to travel 100 miles, the cost per mile is about $0.04. If electricity costs $0.13 per kilowatt-hour, charging an EV with a 200-mile range (assuming a fully depleted 66 kWh battery) will cost about $9 to reach a full charge. (Seems low, but we'll defer to the Department of Energy on this one.) To accelerate the adoption of EVs and get a reasonable rate of return from the $7.5B investment in charging networks, the cost of the electricity the chargers provide needs to be competitive.

Electricity markets match the real-time supply and demand of electricity. With the increasing penetration of renewable resources, it is important that this balancing is done effectively. Inventors from Argonne National Lab have extended this model to electric vehicle chargers. Publication 20210342958, "Transactive Framework for Electric Vehicle Charging Capacity Distribution,ˆ 

The inventors at Argonne National Lab invented a charging management system and a way for providers to bid to supply electricity to the charging station. The Argonne Labs invention is configured to collect monetary information related to an energy price, determine an electrical vehicle (EV) power limit for a total of EVs in an EV charging network, and transmit the monetary information to two or more agents. Agents are entities that want to provide energy to the charging stations. This enables the agents to bid on providing electricity to the charging station. The electric vehicles are charged based on the winning bid.

The Nobelists

This week there are two published patent applications for new inventions by the 2020 Nobel Prize winners in chemistry, Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna. The scientists were awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work on CRISPR-Cas9—a method to edit DNA. CRISPR stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats. CRISPR is used by bacteria to fight phage infections. In principle, the CRISPR system enables bacteria to recognize genetic sequences of invaders and target these sequences for destruction using specialized enzymes. These enzymes are called CRISPR-associated proteins (Cas) and include the DNA endonuclease Cas9. The Nobel Committee recognized their discovery that a microbial immune mechanism can be transformed into a tool that can y edit genomes with high precision.

Dr. Doudna is the first-named inventor on publication 20210340199, "Modulators of CAS9 Polypeptides and Method of Use Thereof." Dr. Doudna and Dr. Charpentier are inventors on 20210340575, "Methods and Compositions for RNA-Directed Target DNA Modification and for RNA-Directed Modulation of Transcription." Dr. Doudna is the first-named inventor on this patent application as well.


On Thursday, there were nine CRISPR-related patent applications. The Salk Institute has six patent applications with the same title and abstract — "RNA TARGETING METHODS AND COMPOSITIONS," and "Provided herein are CRISPR/Cas methods and compositions for targeting RNA molecules, which can be used to detect, edit, or modify a target RNA."

Patent Application Potpourri

This week's applications include:

An Acne Treatment from inventors at PHI THERAPEUTICS, INC. (20210338569) The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) funded this work.

The University of California, San Francisco invented a screening platform for longevity genes and anti-aging drugs (20210340552). This invention covers the engineering and manufacture of microfluidic devices and compositions as components for and identifying anti-aging drugs and/or mutations that modulate lifespan.

Inventors at the University of Maryland's application 20210342656, "System and Method for Multimodal Emotion Recognition," deals with ways to understand emotional perception. The application addresses the importance of emotion perception, and emotion recognition from sensor data can be important for various applications, including, for example, human-computer interaction, surveillance, robotics, games, and entertainment, (Nobody wants to interact with a surly-looking robot.)

While we're on faces, publication 20210342578, "Polarization Imaging for Facial Recognition Enhancement System and Method." The inventors present a way to enhance captured images of people's faces to enable better facial recognition.

The National Institute of Justice, the research, development, and evaluation agency of the Department of Justice funded 20210339253, a microfluidics-related invention focused on technology to rapidly isolate and quantitate sperm cells from biological mixtures as occur in sexual assault evidence. This invention has the potential to speed up the identification of suspects in sex crime cases and to help clear the backlog of evidence in law enforcement forensic labs.

There are two notable wearables. The Department of Homeland Security funded the development of a wearable sensor that can detect the presence of narcotics, notably fentanyl (20210339253). MIT Lincoln Lab and the Army Institute for Environmental Medicine invented a wearable heat stroke sensor that uses accelerometry-based functionality to provide a gait-based heatstroke risk score to determine if the wearer is at risk of heat injury (20210338173).

A Big Week for Bayh-Dole Scofflaws

This week there are eight applications from two scofflaw companies. Scofflaws are firms that didn't provide the statutorily required data on who funded their work on their patent applications. Northrup Grumman has one application without the required data, Publication number 20210341547, "Systems and Methods For Ground Fault Detection," an automatic test equipment (ATE) invention. 

Our weekly scofflaw favorite, Raytheon Company, has seven published applications that cover LIDAR technology inventions. Elon Musk, the world's wealthiest man a rocket scientist of sorts, called LIDAR "a fool's errand" during a presentation on Tesla's efforts to build fully autonomous vehicles. "Anyone relying on LIDAR is doomed," he added. "Doomed. Expensive sensors that are unnecessary. It's like having a whole bunch of expensive appendices... you'll see."  

The team of inventors on the LIDAR inventions are from Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems. They are rocket scientists and astronomers. One of the inventors, Joseph Marron, is the recipient of US Patent 10,000,000, "Coherent Ladar using Intra-Pixel Quadrature Detection." (It's not a typo, LADAR means laser detection and ranging.) Mr. Marron is known for developing advanced laser radar and the invention of holographic laser radar.  


Patent Applications By The Numbers

On Thursday, November 4, 2021, USPTO published 7,820 pre-grant patent applications. Two hundred and fifty-nine (259) applications benefitted from taxpayer funding.

  • 252 patent applications have Government Interest Statements.

  • 37 have an applicant or an assignee that is a government agency.

  • The 259 patents have 305 department-level funding citations.

  • These patents are the work of 879 inventors.

  • The 851 American inventors come from 40 states and the District of Columbia.

  • 28 foreign inventors come from 12 countries.

  • There are 163 patents (63%) where at least one assignee is a college or university, the HERD.

  • A Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDCs) is the assignee or applicant on 12 applications.

  • A federal department is one of the assignees on 25 patents.

  • 4 patent applications s have Y CPC classifications indicating that USPTO believes the invention may be useful in helping to mitigate the impact of climate change.

On Climate Change

The Patent Office's decision-making rules on which patents and patent applications it deems are important remain an enigma. Today, four applications have been assigned Y CPC symbols, including 20210344030, "Sealed Aqueous Flow Battery System With In-Tank Electrolyte Rebalancing," an application related to battery technology. There are at least six other applications with new battery inventions. Our attempts to get to the bottom of figuring out the rules have been fruitless so far. Next up, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Patent Application Count By Department

The table below shows the number of patent applications citing funding by one or more Department Level entities.

The Health Complex

The table that follows shows the number of funding references citing the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health, and the individual Institutes.  

That's this week's FedInvent patents update. Please explore the FedInvent Patent Applications Report as there are many more interesting inventions than we could jam into a newsletter. 

If you'd like to catch up on earlier FedInvent Reports, you can access the newsletters here on Substack. The reports are available on the FedInvent Links page.

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The FedInvent Team 

About FedInvent 

FedInvent tells the stories of inventors, investigators, and innovators. Wayfinder Digital's FedInvent Project follows the federal innovation ecosphere, taxpayer money, and the inventions it pays for.