The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the escalating frequency and sophistication of cyber threats, driving organizations to implement stringent authentication protocols to safeguard their systems and data, and growing importance of technologies such as digital certificates, cryptographic keys, and multi-factor authentication methods to establish a secure and trusted connection. In the last three years alone, there have been over 4.1 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Cybersecurity in technology: mutual authentications. Buy the report here.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

190+ innovations will shape the technology industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the technology industry using innovation intensity models built on over 1.5 million patents, there are 190+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, trusted platform modules, signcryption, and homomorphic encryption are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Side channel attack mitigation, biometric identification and monitoring, and secure hash algorithm (SHA) are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are elliptic curve cryptography, software watermarking, and hybrid encryption algorithm, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for cybersecurity in the technology industry

Mutual authentications is a key innovation area in cybersecurity

Mutual authentication is a procedure in which two parties confirm each other's identities to establish trust and ensure secure communication. This entails a reciprocal verification where both sides authenticate their legitimacy before sharing sensitive information or engaging in transactions.

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 640+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of mutual authentications.

Key players in mutual authentications – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

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

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

Patent volumes related to mutual authentications

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
ZTE 120 Unlock Company Profile
AT&T 84 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 434 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 260 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 98 Unlock Company Profile
InterDigital 113 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 61 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 271 Unlock Company Profile
NXP Semiconductors 74 Unlock Company Profile
Alibaba Group 112 Unlock Company Profile
State Grid Corporation of China 129 Unlock Company Profile
Dell Technologies 110 Unlock Company Profile
Vodafone Group 120 Unlock Company Profile
Nokia 249 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 193 Unlock Company Profile
Canon 101 Unlock Company Profile
Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson 224 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 708 Unlock Company Profile
IBM 194 Unlock Company Profile
HP 138 Unlock Company Profile
Broadcom 66 Unlock Company Profile
BlackBerry 67 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 227 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 69 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 256 Unlock Company Profile
Bundesdruckerei 58 Unlock Company Profile
Hewlett Packard Enterprise 175 Unlock Company Profile
China Iwncomm 171 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Among the companies innovating in mutual authentication, Sony Group is one of the leading patents filers. The company’s patents are aimed at an intelligent wearable gadget equipped with sensors capable of gathering both biological data from the user and environmental information. These sensors can capture input, prompting the wearable to recognize a specific task to execute. In cases where the device concludes that the task demands additional capabilities, it can autonomously obtain the required skills from diverse data sources and adjust its configuration to execute the task proficiently. Other prominent patent filers in the space include Qualcomm and Apple.

 In terms of application diversity, Toyota Motor leads the pack, while Qualcomm and ZTE stood in second and third positions, respectively. In terms of geographical reach, Vodafone Group held the top position, followed by Qualcomm and Sony Group.

Mutual authentication holds immense significance in cybersecurity as it establishes a two-way verification process, ensuring that both parties involved in a communication are who they claim to be. This robust authentication method provides a critical defence against impersonation attacks and unauthorized access, safeguarding sensitive information and preventing unauthorized transactions or activities. It forms a fundamental pillar in securing digital communications and is essential in protecting sensitive data in industries ranging from finance and healthcare to government and e-commerce.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Cybersecurity.

Premium Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


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.