Transport - Overview - Patents - Text


This section looks at the patenting activity in the field of nanotechnology and transport in 2017-2020. Granted patents and patent applications focused on transport and nanotechnology were extracted from the general collection of nanotechnology patents in 2017-2020 developed by the study team for the database. The patents were collected from Espacenet database maintained by the European Patent Office.

The dataset of patents on transport and nanotechnology was developed by extracting the granted patents and patent applications that contained the CPC classes and sub-classes dedicated to transport in their bibliographic information. It should be noted that most nanotechnology patents contain multiple classes in their subject descriptions. In CPC transport is covered under B60 sub-class (Vehicles in general) and specific sub-classes categorising vehicles by type (B61-B64). There are also specific sub-classes associated with certain types of transport or their parts which are not covered by the general classification. However, such sub-classes are diffused over different part of classification and are not included here. 

Table AX-2: Transport in the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC)1
Class Title
B60B Vehicle wheels; castors; axles for wheels or castors; increasing wheel adhesion
B60C Vehicle tyres; tyre inflation; tyre changing; connecting valves to inflatable elastic bodies in general; devices or arrangements related to tyres
B60D Vehicle connections
B60F Vehicles for use both on rail and on road; amphibious or like vehicles; convertible vehicles
B60G Vehicle suspension arrangements
B60H Arrangements of heating, cooling, ventilating or other air treating devices specially adapted for passenger or goods spaces of vehicles
B60J Windows, windscreens, non-fixed roofs, doors, or similar devices for vehicles; removable external protective coverings specially adapted for vehicles
B60K Arrangement or mounting of propulsion units or of transmissions in vehicles; arrangement or mounting of plural diverse prime movers in vehicles; auxiliary drives for vehicles; instrumentation or dashboards for vehicles; arrangements in connection with cooling, air intake, gas exhaust or fuel supply of propulsion units in vehicles
B60L Propulsion of electrically propelled vehicles; supplying electric power for auxiliary equipment of electrically propelled vehicles; electrodynamic brake systems for vehicles in general; magnetic suspension or levitation for vehicles; monitoring operating variables of electrically propelled vehicles; electric safety devices for electrically propelled vehicles
B60M Power supply lines, and devices along rails, for electrically propelled vehicles
B60N Seats specially adapted for vehicles; vehicle passenger accommodation not otherwise provided for
B60P Vehicles adapted for load transportation or to transport, to carry, or to comprise special loads or objects
B60Q Arrangement of signalling or lighting devices, the mounting or supporting thereof or circuits therefor, for vehicles in general
B60R Vehicles, vehicle fittings, or vehicle parts, not otherwise provided for
B60S Servicing, cleaning, repairing, supporting, lifting, or manoeuvring of vehicles, not otherwise provided for
B60T Vehicle brake control systems or parts thereof; brake control systems or parts thereof, in general; arrangement of braking elements on vehicles in general; portable devices for preventing unwanted movement of vehicles; vehicle modifications to facilitate cooling of brakes
B60V Air-cushion vehicles
B60W Conjoint control of vehicle sub-units of different type or different function; control systems specially adapted for hybrid vehicles; road vehicle drive control systems for purposes not related to the control of a particular sub-unit
B60Y Indexing scheme relating to aspects cross-cutting vehicle technology
B61C Locomotives; motor railcars
B62 Land vehicles for travelling otherwise than on rails
B63 Ships or other waterborne vessels; related equipment
B64 Aircraft; aviation; cosmonautics



Transport in nanotechnology patents

As a result of patent collection mining, 75 patent applications and granted patents published in 2017-2020 were identified. The number of patents and patent applications containing transport classifications shows a similar level of interest to this field each year.


Most patents (47, 63%) were published in the national patent offices, while the rest – in World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO, 16, 21%) and the European Patent Office (12, 16%).

USA (16 patents/applications, 21%) and China (15 patents/applications, 20%) prevailed among the countries where most patent applications were published. Other countries, such as Russian Federation (5 patents/applications, 7%), and South Korea (4 patents/applications, 5%) that were among top countries by the number of published applications significantly lagged behind.

Table AX-3: Top countries by filed patents/applications in agriculture and nanotechnology in 2017-2020
Country No. of patents/patent applications, %
USA 16, 21%
China 15, 20%
Russian Federation 5, 7%
South Korea 4, 5%
United Kingdom 2, 3%
Japan 2, 3%


Most patents/applications focused on B60 class (35 patents/applications, 47%) which is a very broad category that covers all types of vehicles and their parts in general. Usually, patents and applications contained specific narrower sub-classes in this general field. The second important focus was on aviation and cosmonautics under B64 class (31 patents/applications, 41%).


Patents dedicated to other fields such as land vehicles (B62) and ships (B63) were much less visible.

Table AX-4: Examples of patent applications focused on B60 and B64 classes
Bibliographic information Abstract
Fearns, L. et al. (2017). A display screen for a vehicle. Patent no. GB2547440A. Available here.
(Patent application)
A Quantum Dot (QD) display screen for a trim panel (e.g. exterior panels such as doors, wings, bonnets and roofs) of a vehicle, 2, is provided. The display screen comprises a first layer comprising a formable polymer substrate, a second layer, formed onto the first layer, comprising an electric circuit (such as a thin film circuit) and a third layer comprising a plurality of quantum dots configured to emit light. The display screen is formed onto the trim panel of the vehicle and follows the visible contours of the trim panel. The invention also covers a vehicle comprising a QD display screen and a method of manufacturing a trim panel including a display screen. Also disclosed is a method of calibrating a display panel provided on a trim panel of a vehicle and a method of illuminating a display screen formed on a trim panel of a vehicle.
Karch, K. et al. (2017). Structural Fibre-Reinforced Component With Lightning Strike Protection by Using Carbon Nano Tube Mats and Metallic Layers. Patent no. EP3228585A1. Available here. A structural component (1), in particular for an aircraft, spacecraft or rocket (10), comprising: a ply (2) of fiber reinforced polymer; a first carbon nano tube mat (3); and a metallic layer (4), wherein the carbon nano tube mat (3) and the metallic layer (4) are arranged on the ply (2) of fiber reinforced polymer to form a hybrid lightning strike protection layer (5). A component for manufacturing such a structural component, a method for manufacturing a component of this type, a method for manufacturing a structural component and an aircraft or spacecraft comprising such a structural component.



Transport innovation breakthroughs in patents

Innovation breakthrough is a peculiar type of innovation that has a profound effect on subsequent inventions, products and services. Three indicators of patents were studied to identify innovation breakthroughs – number of forward citations, number of citing organisations and number of citing countries. 

The study did not identify breakthrough innovation in transport patents and applications in 2017-2020.



European Patent Office. (2022). Cooperative Patent Classification, B: Performing operations; transporting. Available at:

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