Research and innovation in cybersecurity in the technology and communications sector has declined in the last year.

The most recent figures show that the number of related patent applications in the industry stood at 5,015 in the three months ending April – down from 5,574 over the same period in 2021.

Figures for patent grants related to followed a similar pattern to filings – shrinking from 3,860 in the three months ending April 2021 to 3,807 in the same period in 2022.

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.

Cybersecurity 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. Cybersecurity innovation is therefore key for business leaders to stay abreast of.

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

Huawei Investment & Holding Co Ltd was the top innovator in the technology and communications sector in the latest quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in China, filed 416 related patents in the three months ending April. That was down from 435 over the same period in 2021.

It was followed by the United States based Qualcomm Inc with 285 patent applications, the United States based International Business Machines Corp (260 applications), and the United States based Intel Corp (240 applications).

DISH Network Corp has recently ramped up R&D in . It saw growth of 81.8% in related patent applications in the three months ending April compared to the same period in 2021 - the highest percentage growth out of all companies tracked with more than 10 quarterly patents in the technology and communications sector.