While the creation of power has long been a source of worth worldwide, that sector may soon be playing second fiddle to those who are best at storing it.

Tesla, Inc. investors expected an announcement on a giant leap forward in battery technology, including greater storage for a lower price. Elon Musk, the CEO, didn’t bring the good news they were looking for, and the company paid the price: The market value of the company quickly plummeted $50 billion.

New batteries were supposed to provide an affordable model that could compete with cars running on gas. Buyers will have to wait, though, as Musk revealed that the new design was still in the works.

Charging forward

The desire for increased energy at lower prices isn’t just evident in the automotive world. Technology is increasingly reliant on powerful batteries, from longer ranges for electric cars to faster charging times on cell phones and more life for laptops.

The increase in demand is evident when looking at patents. The number of applications for battery technology in 2018 was seven times higher than in 2000, according to a study from the European Patent Office and the International Energy Agency. And it’s the technological powerhouses that are leading the way.

Global power

Samsung Electronics in South Korea comes in first in single-entity applications over those eight years with nearly 4,800. Panasonic, headquartered in Japan and the current supplier of Tesla’s batteries, sat in second with just over 4,000. But when it comes to countries, Japan is the clear overall leader. The nation notched over one-third of the global patents for batteries in 2018, more than twice what second-place South Korea brought.

Finding purchase on the global stage is no small task given the sheer amount of applications that come through every year. Even with the crowded field, successful innovation and protection are as important as ever. Make sure you’re ready to take on the process to bypass the potential costs of coming up short.