Brunswick Corp said that 97 patents had been granted to its different business last year. That number is a third higher than 2016 and about twice as many as 2015. Brunswick earned a spot among the top 25 Illinois companies receiving patents in both 2015 and 2016, according to Crain's Chicago Business.
The company said that all its divisions, engine, boat and fitness, received the record number of patents. Mercury Marine gained 71 patents, nearly equaling the total number of granted to the company in 2016. “Consumers will note improvements and advancements in areas as emissions and exhaust, marine propulsion control systems, comfort and ride, and easier engine service and maintenance,” said David Foulkes, Brunswick’s chief technology officer, in a statement.
The patents are in areas like efficient, lightweight outboard engine design; advanced engine and vessel control strategies; intuitive vessel helm controls; enhanced noise and vibration isolation; and new user interfaces. Its Whale division obtained patents on water handling systems for boat and recreational vehicle systems.
The Brunswick Boat Group continued to focus on enhancing the boating experience in 2017, receiving several patents, including new seating as well as improved storage of gear.
Brunswick's Fitness Division had more than 20 patents awarded during 2017, including advancements in such areas as user interface with fitness equipment consoles, push button encoders and equipment power and control mechanisms.
The company said its new I-JET Lab is working closely with Brunswick corporate and divisional resources to accelerate Brunswick’s interest in the Internet of Things, advanced analytics, and a range of human-machine interaction and enhanced user-experience technologies.
Brunswick also announced a joint venture last year with Chicago-based TechNexus Venture Collaborative to advance transformative innovation for opportunities in the marine and fitness industries. "We believe that there are rich opportunities both in emerging technology and extensions of current product technologies that the joint venture can pursue," Foulkes said. "We are excited to be working in a space that offers so much innovation to offer us the opportunity to evolve and differentiate our business to better compete in the long-term.”