We provide occasional updates on patent data for hydraulic fracturing (HF) patent activities, building on our previously shared insights, including our April 13, 2011 posting on HF patent publications.

The charts included here illustrate large increases in HF patent activity starting about five years ago.

The first chart shows the increase in HF patent publications per year. The number of HF patent publications has, in essence, doubled in the past five years.

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In the second illustration, the same is shown except now the data are controlled for the total number of patent publications per year. We still see a marked increase in HF patenting starting about five years ago, but the controlled data show that some of the increase is part of the general increase in patent filings (i.e., many technology sectors will see some growth, not just HF).

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The third chart shows the total patent publications for all technologies, not just HF, which was used as a control in the second slide.

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We are also examining the technical sectors for these HF patent filings. For example, for the 19 HF patent publications in 2011, the publications are about evenly split between (i) chemistry/materials patenting (10), and (ii) non-chemistry/materials patenting (9). Two of the 19 relate to water treatment. We will provide more details in future reports about technical sectors.