The UK Patent Office (as was) have published their review of 2006, which is available here (watch out for a big download). To add a bit of interest and colour, the review is subdivided into the four seasons and is
"dedicated to the patented technology used in today’s renewable energy sources, as they protect our future, we protect the hard work of their inventors".
So it looks like, as well as giving themselves a new name, those nice people at the UK-IPO are going all green on us. Perhaps this should be an encouragement to all green technology companies out there to get patenting, if they're not doing so already. Is anyone out there making innovations in wind, solar, geothermal or hydroelectric power? The UKIPO wants you to know they are here to help you protect your future too.
On a more sober note, embedded in the mostly dry "facts and figures" towards the end of the review, the number of patents granted in class G4* apparently fell from 1,144 in 2005 to 662 in 2006. The IPKat wonders why this was. Any ideas?
*"Calculating: counting: checking: signalling: data handling" (under which many computer-implemented inventions will fall)