Artificial intelligence tops patent filings in 2020, finds GlobalData

Innovations enabled by artificial intelligence (AI) are growing at a strong pace, which is evident from the technology taking the top spot in the patent filings of 2020. The need to automate business processes to improve efficiency and control costs across industries is fueling the surge in AI patent filings by tech giants and enterprises, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Venkata Naveen, Senior Disruptive Tech Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The huge number of patent filings in AI indicate a paradigm shift from theoretical research. Tech incumbents with deep pockets are poaching top AI talent from universities to develop practical applications. In addition, AI is industry-agnostic and can complement other technologies like big data, Internet of Things and robotics.”

The Patents Database of GlobalData’s Disruptor Intelligence Center provides the global IP landscape curated for various major themes and industries with the ability to identify trends, top players, inventions and inventors.

Samsung filed the highest number of AI patents beating technology giants in the top 10 list, followed by Alphabet, Intel, IBM and Microsoft. The Korean company is expanding its research scope around AI technologies focused on improving lifestyles.

Nearly one-fourth of the patents filed by Alphabet were from AI startups like DeepMind, Waymo and Verily, which emphasizes the acquisition spree of AI startups by tech giants.

The top 10 list not only has tech giants as major patent filing companies. American bank Capital One has made it to the list with AI patents for automating customer support services, followed by robotics company Fanuc and optical products manufacturer Canon.

The fight for AI supremacy is clearly reflected in the patent filings by geography, with the US taking the top spot, followed by China. Half of the companies in the top 10 list were from the US while the remaining from the Asia-Pacific – China, Japan and South Korea.

Mr. Naveen concludes: “AI is already powering many critical tasks, from identifying the shortest route on Google Maps to predicting the next epidemic. But we are only witnessing some of its many applications, and the true potential of the technology is difficult to comprehend unless all those patents see the light of the day. AI patent filings are not only a yardstick to measure a company’s future digital strategy, but also to some extent answer the question of who is winning the AI supremacy race.”

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