A Year of IP Insights 2023 

A Year of IP Insights 2023

December 14, 2023

Welcome to a collection of intellectual property insights drawn from the dynamic landscape of 2023, where we revisit valuable data and trends featured in this year’s published reports and articles. These insights illustrate the development and impact of intellectual property in various fields, including progress on sustainable innovation, breakthroughs in the medical industry, advancements in engineering patenting, the rise of autonomous driving, the transformative capabilities of 5G, and other notable areas. 

This compilation stands as a testament to the power of informed decision-making through comprehensive data analytics. Leveraging IP analytics and intelligence, these insights serve as a beacon for IP departments, empowering them to gain a profound command of their patents and illuminating pathways to align intellectual property strategies with overarching business objectives.  

Join us in exploring intellectual property highlights in 2023, where innovation and strategy converge to shape the future of industries and economies worldwide. 

5 industries dominated our 2023 Innovation Momentum: The Global Top 100 list: Pharmaceuticals, Information Technologies, Chemicals and Materials, Electronics, and Semiconductors. 

We published our second annual Innovation Momentum report at the beginning of the year, enabling us to shed light on the most promising and active players by looking at the dynamics of technology development over the past 2 years. The report had 27 patent owners who weren’t on the 2022 list, highlighting the constant evolution of the innovation landscape, and the speed at which technology advances. Here are a few more key insights: 

  • Most patent owners in the Top 100 are headquartered in the U.S., which is also home to almost half of the owners in the Information Technologies industry. 
  • In Asia, China, Japan, and Korea continued to demonstrate their traditional strength in Electronics, as well as in the Chemicals and Materials industry. 
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The breakdown of the number of innovators by industry sector and region 

  • Academia remains a rich source of innovation, with leading universities and institutions found in countries across the globe, from the U.S. to China, France, Germany, and Korea. 

Read the full report here: https://www.lexisnexisip.com/innovation-report-2023/  

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Companies are increasingly aligning their strategies with sustainable development, with 75% of the Top 100 global corporate patent portfolio owners stating the UN SDGs’ relevance to their business objectives.  

Sustainability has fast become the world’s most critical initiative. In a first-of-its-kind IP report, “Exploring the Global Sustainable Innovation Landscape: The Top 100 Companies and Beyond”, we focused entirely on the state of sustainable innovation, assessing the global patent landscape from an SDG perspective and revealing the top 100 most sustainable technology leaders in the world—ranked based on the quality of sustainability-related inventions they own. Using the objective lens of patents, we presented a comprehensive view of the current sustainable innovation landscape and celebrated the top global companies developing the most substantial innovation in sustainable technologies. Here are some of the key findings : 

  • Over the past 20 years, the number and strength of SDG-related patents has nearly tripled, aligning with the growth rate of all patent holdings and filings.  

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Growth in quantity (left) and share (right) of SDG-related patent holdings by strength (Patent Asset Index) 

  • The top 3 sustainable leaders by the absolute strength of their SDG-related patent portfolios are Samsung, Johnson & Johnson, and Toyota Motor 
  • The leading goals among the Top 100 companies according to absolute strength (Patent Asset Index) are SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, and SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being. 
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The share of the top SDGs by Patent Asset Index of the Top 100 

Read the full report here: https://www.lexisnexisip.com/sustainable-innovation-report/  

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The competition in the 5G patent race has intensified, carrying significant geopolitical implications as countries strive for dominance in crucial technologies. 

In our report “Who is Leading the 5G Patent Race,” we unfold how the 5G patent race has reached new heights, carrying substantial geopolitical implications as nations compete for supremacy in vital technologies. Beyond royalties, the pursuit involves maintaining leadership in industrial value chains. The landscape reveals several key findings. Here are a few:  

  • There are over 60,000 declared 5G patent families, growing by 5,000 annually, and 131 unique owners, showcasing increased participation and evolving dynamics. 
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While the top 10 owners’ control 76%, ownership is becoming more fragmented. 

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Chinese companies represent 32% of declared 5G patent families and 48% of SEP licensees, a trend spanning eight years.

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Read the full report here: https://www.lexisnexisip.com/5g-report-2023/ 

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In the last decade, the realm of Autonomous Driving has witnessed a surge in innovation, reflected in an explosive proliferation of patents.  

Our report, “Driving Toward Tomorrow: A Deep Dive Into Autonomous Vehicle Innovation” looks to patent data to navigate the dynamic landscape, highlighting key players and trends that define the industry’s trajectory. Here are some of the key findings: 

  • Leadership and Competition: Baidu emerges as the clear leader in Autonomous Driving patent development, surpassing other major players like Alphabet, GM, and Ford. Baidu’s strong presence indicates China’s prominence in this technological domain. 
  • Industry Dynmaics: The top players in Autonomous Driving include a mix of traditional automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) such as GM, Ford, and Toyota Motor, along with tech companies like Alphabet, Nvidia, and Qualcomm. 
  • Technology Strength and Innovation: The Competitive Impact metric, considering both the Competitive Impact and Portfolio Size, highlights that tech giants like Alphabet demonstrate higher competitive impact, while traditional automotive players exhibit lower impact.  
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Strategic position of the top 10 players in the sub- technology field of “Smart” in Autonomous Driving in terms of patent portfolio Competitive Impact and Portfolio Size  

Read the full report here: https://www.lexisnexisip.com/resources/driving-toward-tomorrow-a-deep-dive-into-autonomous-vehicle-innovation/  

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Major pharmaceutical players are strategically shifting from quantity-centric patent portfolios to a focus on quality, opting for fewer patents with higher intrinsic value. 

In the ever-evolving landscape of the pharmaceutical industry, patents emerge as not just legal shields but powerful indicators of innovation and market potential. Amidst the giants of Big Pharma and the dynamic flux of smaller innovators, the strategic use of patent analytics becomes paramount, offering a lens into the industry’s future trajectory. An article, “How Patent Analytics Can Show Pharma’s Top Performers,” written by our head of customer success and published by PharmaBoardroom offers several insights through the lens of patent analytics. Here are a couple: 

  • Dynamic Shift in Portfolio Strategies: Major pharmaceutical players are strategically shifting from quantity-centric patent portfolios to a focus on quality, opting for fewer patents with higher intrinsic value. This shift signals a deliberate effort to streamline and fortify portfolios, emphasizing the industry’s commitment to high-impact innovations over sheer volume. 
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The change in the volume of patents owned across the ranking segments of pharmaceutical patent owners 

  • Unveiling Rising Stars in the Long Tail: Patent analytics enables the identification of rising stars among smaller pharmaceutical companies, exemplified by companies like Acuitas Therapeutics, ImmuneSensor Therapeutics, and Regor Therapeutics. Amidst the vast sea of innovators, pinpointing companies with moderate patent numbers but exceptionally high quality allows for strategic targeting of potential acquisition opportunities and highlights the industry’s reliance on sophisticated analytics for decision-making.  
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Read the full report here: https://pharmaboardroom.com/articles/diamonds-in-the-rough-discovering-rising-pharma-stars-through-patents/

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The majority of gaming companies have shown a clear decline in their portfolio strength by using the Patent Asset Index, except for Sony and a few pachinko companies.  

Our report, “Game Over the West?” argued that Japanese companies dominate innovation in the gaming industry. We used LexisNexis Cipher® Classification’s patent analysis and looked at which companies owned the most inventions overall and which had invented the most in the past decade. 

The domination of the Japanese pachinko industry was remarkable, with few video games or Western gambling firms breaking the top 25. This level of domination from an industry little known outside Japan was surprising, and we wanted to better understand these portfolios. 

With the acquisition of Cipher by LexisNexis® Intellectual Property, we wanted to look more closely at the space by using the LexisNexis® PatentSight® detailed graphs and unique patent portfolio strength scoring system, the Patent Asset Index. This report argues that gaming technology relies on Japanese companies, with the Western world contributing little. While some may find Japan’s prominence in gaming unsurprising, their level of domination is unexpected. 

 Here are the key findings: 

  • The majority of gaming companies have shown a clear decline in their portfolio strength by using the Patent Asset Index, except for Sony and a few pachinko companies. Overall, quality innovation appears to be on the decline. 
  • Western companies have strong Patent Asset Index scores and are better represented than in the previous report. A strong reason is that they have better market coverage, investing in far more geographies than pachinko firms. Overall, they contribute to more global innovation, while Japan is more insular. 
  • Western companies are declining, with cross-licensing and monetization taking priority and portfolios shrinking. 

Read the full report here: https://www.lexisnexisip.com/resources/game-over-for-the-west/ 

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The top 20 semiconductor manufacturers powering the AI revolution include pure play foundries, hybrid manufacturers like Samsung and Intel, equipment suppliers like ASM International and Applied Materials, and Integrated Device Manufacturers (IDM) like Western Digital and Infineon.  

Artificial intelligence (AI) applications, such as ChatGPT and autonomous driving systems, have taken the world by storm. Behind this AI revolution lies a remarkable story of innovation and advancements in semiconductor device manufacturing. Our report “Who are the World’s High-Performance Computing Semiconductor Innovators Powering the AI Revolution?“ reveals key findings in the semiconductor industry, shedding light on the manufacturers and technologies that underpin the AI boom. It also provides in-depth insights into the critical components of this industry, particularly advanced CMOS logic and advanced packaging, which fuels central processing units (CPUs) and graphics processing units (GPUs).  

TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) leads with the largest patent portfolio and the highest portfolio strength measured by the Patent Asset Index, emphasizing its position in advanced manufacturing. Samsung and ASM International rank as #2 and #3. The top 20 include pure play foundries, hybrid manufacturers like Samsung and Intel, equipment suppliers like ASM International and Applied Materials, and Integrated Device Manufacturers (IDM) like Western Digital and Infineon. IBM stands as an R&D powerhouse. The report also identifies new entrants like Beijing Zhiguangxin Holding and Tsinghua Unigroup. 

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The top 20 semiconductor device manufacturing (SDM) patent owners ranked by their portfolio strength measured by the Patent Asset Index

Read the full report here: https://www.lexisnexisip.com/semiconductor-innovation-report/ 

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Over a 20-year period, the share of inventions protected in China has shifted from less than 5% to nearly 50% today, a stat reflected in the huge boom in Chinese Engineering innovation.  

We took a deep dive into the data to reveal clear trends about the future of Engineering and how international players are reacting to the growing Chinese influence in our report, “The Global Impact of China’s Emerging Market”.  

Over the past 20+ years, the development of the Chinese economy has been closely monitored and remains a topic of continual discussion. The growth exhibited by China’s economy has greatly outpaced all other countries by a wide margin, quickly propelling China to the number two spot globally in terms of gross national income (GNI). China’s machinery exports continuously increased over the last 20 years, and now, has even surpassed Germany in machinery exports. 

Not only can the development of China in the Engineering space be seen by the market growth and balance of trade, but also by the innovation in this space. Over the same 20-year period, the share of inventions protected in China has shifted from being less than 5% to nearly 50% today. This shift is driven by several factors, including the Chinese government’s past promotion of engagement with the patent system, the development of the Chinese market for Engineering products and services and the development of Chinese players entering this market to serve these needs on top of the established international players.  

The report focuses on Engineering as a whole, and more specific industries, mainly Aerospace (2%), Civil Engineering (6%), Energy (34%), Machines (47%), Manufacturing Equipment (19%), Metals and Metal Processing (7%) and Railway and Ship Building (15%).  

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Engineering patents by industry sectors and location invented 

 Read the full report: https://www.lexisnexisip.com/engineering-innovation/#report 

As of October 2023, there are, in total, close to 500,000 patent families that have Unified Patent Court (UPC) Opt-Out registered and over 350 that have applied for Unitary Effect, a signal that more companies are taking a precautionary approach to the new system. 

The Unitary Patent (UP), often referred to as the “European Patent with unitary effect,” has been making waves in the world of intellectual property rights. This new patent system, introduced to streamline and simplify patent protection in Europe, offers both advantages and potential disadvantages for inventors, businesses, and the legal community. In our overview, we discuss the intricacies of the Unitary Patent, its benefits, drawbacks, and the role of the Unified Patent Court. We also look at insights pulled from the LexisNexis® PatentSight® analytics and intelligence platform to uncover some early UP trends.   

A Quality vs Quantity chart in PatentSight comparing the portfolios of companies that have requested for the Unitary effect.  

As of October 2023, there are, in total, close to 500,000 patent families that have UPC Opt-Out registered and over 380 that have applied for Unitary Effect. There is a clear signal that more companies are taking a precautionary approach to this change. 

Note that PatentSight uses the simple family concept of the European Patent Office. This PatentSight chart shows the Top 15 portfolios according to Patent Asset Index that have requested for unitary patent effect. On the horizontal axis of the chart, you can see the number of patents that have applied for UP effect in the respective portfolios. The size of each bubble measures the overall strength of the unitary patents in each portfolio. 

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Read the full overview: https://www.lexisnexisip.com/resources/unraveling-the-unitary-patent-system-a-5-month-review-and-what-lies-ahead/ 

Looking forward to 2024 

Our journey through the Intellectual Property landscape of 2023 has explored trends and innovative leaps across various industries. These insights highlight the shifts shaping global intellectual property dynamics. 

This collection demonstrates how comprehensive data analytics can empower IP departments to align their intellectual property strategies with broader business objectives.

Join us in shaping innovation strategies worldwide through the lens of data and analytics. Explore the full reports linked throughout this overview to gain deeper insights into the evolving IP landscape and its transformative impact on industries and economies globally. 

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