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GM wins Top Automotive Innovator ranking for fourth consecutive quarter

General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) remains the No. 1 innovator for the fourth-consecutive quarter among 183 companies ranked by The Patent Board in its quarterly automotive and transportation industry scorecard.

This is by far not the first time this auto technology writer has reported that General Motor’s Company (NYSE: GM), the very same company that was bankrupt just a few short years ago, has once again won the prestigious Top Automotive Innovator as ranked by The Patent Board.

Read the article from the Sept. 2011 report: Patent Board ranks GM No. 1 for auto innovation.

The only difference this time for GM is that this award makes it four quarters in a row; quite an accomplishment for any company. That means, for the fourth consecutive quarter, GM has ranked the top dog among its many peer companies when compared to patents applied for and issued.

All together, GM was granted 1,123 U.S. patents in 2011 applied to global product engineering, global powertrain engineering, global research and development and OnStar organizations.

The reference image shown via GM media has Meng Jiang, a GM researcher in Warren, Michigan preparing to look at lithium ion battery components through a microscope that is housed in an argon gas filled "glove box". The lithium ion battery components are sensitive to oxygen and humidity.

For the record, The Patent Board is the leading independent provider of best practices research tools and metrics for patent analysis and intellectual property investment. It tracks and analyzes innovation and patents across 17 industries on a global basis.

Among recent technology patents:

Quiet Brakes – A friction-damped disc brake design that uses a thin metal ring embedded in the brake rotor to absorb vibrations and mute the squeal. The quieter brake is expected to be available on some cars and trucks within two to three years.

OnStar Voice Recognition – OnStar’s speech recognition method can identify the location of the speaker within the vehicle and adjusts its microphone pick-up pattern or magnitude to respond to location-specific commands.

eAssist Thermal Management – Vehicles with engine shut-off capability, such as Buick LaCrosse with eAssist, use an innovative thermal management system that maintains occupant comfort during engine-shut off, and prevents engine shut-off if comfort will be lost, such as during extremely cold or hot weather conditions.

“We are in the midst of redefining the automotive DNA, and these efforts are driving our people to reinvent every subsystem on the vehicle” said Alan Taub, GM vice president of Global Research and Development. “Being the recognized leader in innovation is important, because it tells our customers and shareholders that we are working on the leading edge of technology.”

Congratulations to General Motors and to the many innovation-minded employees who make this award possible.