1. Analysis
March 7, 2022

Artificial intelligence innovation among tech industry companies has dropped off in the last year

By Verdict Staff

Research and innovation in artificial intelligence in the technology and communications sector has declined in the last year, data from GlobalData shows.

The most recent figures show that the number of AI related patent applications in the industry stood at 1,392 in the three months ending January – down from 5,340 over the same period in 2020.

Figures for patent grants related to AI followed a similar pattern to filings – shrinking from 2,601 in the three months ending January 2020 to 367 in the same period in 2021.

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The figures are compiled by GlobalData, who track patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Using textual analysis, as well as official patent classifications, these patents are grouped into key thematic areas, and linked to key companies across various industries.

AI is one of the key areas tracked by GlobalData. It has been identified as being a key disruptive force facing companies in the coming years, and is one of the areas that companies investing resources in now are expected to reap rewards from.

The figures also provide an insight into the largest innovators in the sector.

Huawei Investment & Holding Co Ltd was the top AI innovator in the technology and communications sector in the latest quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in China, filed 115 AI related patents in the three months ending January. That was down from 196 over the same period in 2020.

It was followed by the United States based Alphabet Inc with 100 AI patent applications, the United States based International Business Machines Corp (99 applications), and the United States based Intel Corp (77 applications).

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Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson has recently ramped up R&D in AI. It saw growth of 38.9% in related patent applications in the three months ending January compared to the same period in 2020 – the highest percentage growth out of all companies tracked with more than 10 quarterly patents in the technology and communications sector.