The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation. Activity is driven by the rapid emergence and widespread adoption of game-changing technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), and mobility, and growing importance of technologies such as encryption algorithms, secure sockets layer/transport layer security (SSL/TLS), secure hash algorithms, and virtual private networks (VPNs). These technologies work together to safeguard the confidentiality, integrity, and controlled distribution of encrypted content. In the last three years alone, there have been over 3.6 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Cloud: Encrypted content distribution. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 2.5 million patents to analyse innovation intensity for the technology industry, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Encrypted content distribution is a key innovation area in cloud

Encrypted content distribution refers to the process of securely distributing digital content by converting it into an encrypted format, thereby limiting access to authorised users. This approach is commonly employed to safeguard sensitive data, including intellectual property, financial documents, and medical records. Additionally, it serves as a protective measure to prevent unauthorised copying or distribution of digital content.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 40+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of encrypted content distribution.

Key players in encrypted content distribution – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to encrypted content distribution

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Sony Group 365 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 152 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 65 Unlock Company Profile
Pendrell 46 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 43 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 37 Unlock Company Profile
EchoStar 37 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 37 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 37 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 35 Unlock Company Profile
THOMSON LICENSING 32 Unlock Company Profile
LG 31 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 30 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Investment & Holding 27 Unlock Company Profile
Western Digital 25 Unlock Company Profile
Digimarc 23 Unlock Company Profile
Intertrust Technologies 20 Unlock Company Profile
AT&T 19 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines (IBM) 19 Unlock Company Profile
Xperi 18 Unlock Company Profile
Walt Disney 17 Unlock Company Profile
Nokia 15 Unlock Company Profile
Renesas Electronics 11 Unlock Company Profile
Legend 11 Unlock Company Profile
Yamaha 10 Unlock Company Profile
InterDigital 10 Unlock Company Profile
Dell Technologies 10 Unlock Company Profile
ADOBE 10 Unlock Company Profile
MultiChoice Group 10 Unlock Company Profile
SanDisk 9 Unlock Company Profile
Furukawa 9 Unlock Company Profile
Sandisk Technologies 9 Unlock Company Profile
Wi-Fi One 9 Unlock Company Profile
BCE 7 Unlock Company Profile
Ricoh 7 Unlock Company Profile
Sharp 7 Unlock Company Profile
Fasoo.Com 7 Unlock Company Profile
Verance 7 Unlock Company Profile
Hewlett Packard Enterprise 6 Unlock Company Profile
Pioneer 6 Unlock Company Profile
Cisco Systems 6 Unlock Company Profile
SmartFrame Technologies 5 Unlock Company Profile
Rakuten Group 5 Unlock Company Profile
Salesforce 5 Unlock Company Profile
JVCKENWOOD 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Sony Group is one of the leading patent filers in encrypted content distribution. The company’s patents are aimed at a portable apparatus including a first connector, a memory, and first circuitry. The first connector automatically receives a plurality of content data from a computer. The memory stores the plurality of content data.

The first circuitry performs a mutual authentication process with the computer via the first connector and plays back the plurality of content data.

The computer also includes a second circuitry and a second connector. The first circuitry stores the plurality of content data to a storage medium and provides a graphical user interface to receive an input identifying a list of the plurality of content data stored in said storage medium that are to be automatically transferred to the portable apparatus. The second connector is configured to transfer the plurality of content data stored in the storage medium to the portable apparatus.

Other prominent patent filers in the space include Panasonic and Samsung.

By geographic reach, EchoStar leads the pack, followed by Nokia and Rakuten. In terms of application diversity, Verance holds the top position, followed by Rakuten and Digimarc.

Encrypted content distribution plays a pivotal role in maintaining data security, privacy, and intellectual property protection in an increasingly interconnected digital world. To further understand how cloud is disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Cloud Computing – Thematic Intelligence.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.