Brunswick Corp. said it received 97 patents last year, up nearly a third from 2016 and nearly twice as many as it was awarded in 2015.
The company said all of its divisions — engine, fitness and boat — contributed. Engine manufacturer Mercury Marine and Life Fitness accounted for a significant portion of the 2017 patents.
Brunswick said Mercury had a company record 71 patents in 2017, nearly equaling the number that all three Brunswick business units received in 2016. The company said Mercury has a rich pipeline of new technology and that consumers will note improvements and advancements in emissions and exhaust, marine propulsion control systems, comfort and ride, as well as easier engine service and maintenance.
The company said Mercury's Whale division obtained patents on water-handling systems that not only support boat manufacturers, but also makers of recreational vehicles.
David Foulkes, Brunswick’s vice president and chief technology officer, said the patents awarded in 2017 expand Brunswick's intellectual property in such areas as efficient, lightweight outboard engine design; advanced engine and vessel control strategies; intuitive vessel helm controls; enhanced noise and vibration isolation; and new user interfaces.
"Product leadership continues to be a hallmark at Brunswick, and the increase in patents awarded is indicative of our efforts to reinforce and advance our leadership in the marine and fitness businesses," Foulkes said in a statement.
"We have a number of new products, particularly in the marine engine and fitness equipment markets, which debuted in 2017 or will be making their debuts in the coming months,” Foulkes added. “The resulting patents are reflective of those efforts and of our broader commitments to expand our differentiated, consumer-focused technology portfolio. We continually seek to develop and offer innovative customer solutions that we will bring to market at an ever-increasing pace."