Brunswick touts doubling of patents in 2016

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Brunswick Corp. said it received 73 patents in 2016, more than twice its total for the previous year. Sixty were awarded to Mercury Marine, which the company said was a record for the Wisconsin-based engine manufacturer.

“2016 was another prolific year for the company in all of our segments — marine engine, pleasure boats and fitness,” Brunswick vice president and chief technology officer David Foulkes said in a statement.

“Consistent with our dedication to product leadership, we have sustained the pace of innovation, both in product features and capabilities, as well as operational process improvements,” Foulkes added.

“Indeed, the awarding of these patents was the culmination of a lot of good work across the company during the past several years. These efforts have reinforced our leadership position in our marine and fitness businesses.”

Brunswick said it spent about $139 million in 2016 on research and development across the global company — about 3 percent of its annual net sales and consistent with investment levels of recent years.

Research in 2016 was highly concentrated in areas that include emissions; control systems such as joystick technology; comfort enhancements, including noise reduction; maintenance; and stability enhancements.

In 2015, Lake Forest, Ill.-based Brunswick was awarded 34 patents, which earned the company a spot among the top 25 Illinois companies that received patents that year, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

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