Looking into Rivian Patent Portfolio

Videos of Rivian’s electric truck surfaced around October 2018, showcasing the R1T model doing a ‘tank turn’ like a tracked The post Looking into Rivian Patent Portfolio appeared first on EVreporter.

Looking into Rivian Patent Portfolio

Videos of Rivian’s electric truck surfaced around October 2018, showcasing the R1T model doing a ‘tank turn’ like a tracked vehicle. In July 2021, the American electric vehicle maker filed trademark applications for six names of its vehicles. Rivian’s electric vans could be the next big thing in e-commerce logistics globally.

The e-commerce giant, Amazon, has ordered 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian to be delivered by 2030. This is in addition to Ford’s $500 million investment to use Rivian’s electric truck platform in its vehicles. Rivian, on 17th December 2021, confirmed plans for a $5 billion second electric vehicle factory in Georgia. The company has also caught attention for its innovations, which is evident from its patent filings. Govind Kedia, Managing Director at Arctic Invent, discusses Rivian’s patent portfolio.

Which areas of EV technology do the patents cover?

We analysed Rivian’s portfolio patents and categorised them into broad technologies they cover as follows:

Notable examples of patents belonging to these technologies

US10207757B2 – Systems and methods for reconfigurable electric vehicles

This US granted patent was filed in January 2017. Rivian’s founder and CEO is the inventor. It talks about an EV shared by multiple users and aims to improve the utility features of the vehicle. The vehicle configures to different structural configurations as per the user. Illustrations from the patent show various vehicle removable module configurations as per the invention.

One of Rivian’s most cited patents is US10479427B2 that talks about a similar invention. It discloses a modular system for an electric vehicle that permits the removal and reattachment of a structural module from and to the vehicle.

Patent illustration showing the block diagrams in side view and bottom view of the reconfigurable electric vehicle discussed in the invention.

US20210197820A1 – K-Turn mode

Published in July 2021, this US patent application is for a technology that aims to make turning in tighter spaces easier. Though the basic technology has been around since the ’80s (Honda’s Prelude is an example), modern vehicles seem to be adopting measures to turn the vehicle in compact spaces. Most vehicles use torque on at least two wheels to turn the vehicle when the driver turns the steering wheel. Other techniques, such as applying torque to one side of the vehicle, have inherent drawbacks. So to overcome these, the invention talks about a K-turn mode of a vehicle.

Patent drawing shows the torque acting on the front and rear wheels from the “K- turn mode” of the patent.

Giving forward torque to the front wheels and backward torque to the rear wheels allows a significantly lower turn radius. Consistent monitoring of the rotation of the wheels helps achieve the desired effect.

US10833379B2 – Electric vehicle with modular removable auxiliary battery with integrated cooling

This US granted patent discloses a removable battery pack, possibly for Rivian’s R1T electric pickup truck. The vehicle has a primary battery and an auxiliary battery module, as per the invention.

Drawings from the patent depicting an EV with a primary battery and an auxiliary battery which is removable and reattachable.

The auxiliary battery module can be placed in the vehicle’s cargo area. At the same time, it supplies power to the electric motor. A user can remove the battery from the cargo area and reattach it to the vehicle. Further, the battery has an integrated cooling system with a refrigerant conduit for cooling the auxiliary battery during operation.

Key insights

  • Nathaniel Wynn, Rivian’s former Senior Battery Systems Engineer, remains the top inventor for its patented technologies, with about 23 patents. Founder and CEO Robert “RJ” Scaringe also has several patents to his name and has co- invented some of Rivian’s proprietary technologies.
  • An applicant can file a patent in a single country or many countries through the PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) route. Priority country is the country of first filing of an invention in a patent family. United States remains the country of first filing. Rivian has filed most of its patents first in the US and then other countries through direct or PCT filing.

Geographical coverage of patents filed in the respective patent families

  • Rivian published several patents globally. These are 279 patents that belong to the 85 patent families in our study. Multiple patents can seek to protect the same invention in different countries. The graphical representation shows scattered patent filing, but primarily concentrated in a few regions.
  • Out of 279 patents, 20 belong to the European jurisdictions, 57 are filed through WIPO, i.e., the PCT route. The other concentrated areas are the US, Germany, and China. There are no patents so far in India.

Cover image source: Rivian LinkedIn Account

About the author

Arctic Innovation Consulting Solutions (arcticinvent.com) provides industry specific patent trend news and databases. In addition, they also help technology companies protect their intellectual property via patents, trademarks, designs, and copyrights. The author can be reached at govind@arcticinvent.com

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The post Looking into Rivian Patent Portfolio appeared first on EVreporter.

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