The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the increasing prevalence of remote work, growing concerns over data privacy, rising number of cyber threats, and growing importance of encryption protocols such as internet protocol security (IPSec) and secure sockets layer/transport layer security (SSL/TLS) to ensure data confidentiality, integrity, and authentication while enabling seamless remote access to network resources. With the ever-expanding need for secure remote connectivity, cybersecurity innovation in virtual private network (VPN) tunneling can play an instrumental role in safeguarding sensitive information and ensuring secure communication in today’s interconnected world. 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 Cloud in technology: VPN tunnelingBuy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 1.5 million patents to analyze innovation intensity for the technology industry, there are 190+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

VPN tunneling is a key innovation area in cloud

VPN tunneling refers to the technique of establishing an encrypted connection between two endpoints, such as a computer and a server, over the internet. This method ensures the secure transmission of private data and enables a protected connection for remote users. Furthermore, it can be utilized to bypass geographical restrictions, granting access to blocked websites or services.

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 1090+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of VPN tunneling.

Key players in VPN tunneling – 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 VPN tunneling

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
ZTE 1163 Unlock Company Profile
AT&T 343 Unlock Company Profile
Avaya 196 Unlock Company Profile
Deutsche Telekom 253 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 518 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 853 Unlock Company Profile
Oracle 231 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 255 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 150 Unlock Company Profile
Extreme Networks 185 Unlock Company Profile
Alibaba Group 193 Unlock Company Profile
Citrix Systems 712 Unlock Company Profile
Dell Technologies 560 Unlock Company Profile
Vodafone Group 149 Unlock Company Profile
Nokia 884 Unlock Company Profile
H3C Technologies 707 Unlock Company Profile
Juniper Networks 897 Unlock Company Profile
Palo Alto Networks 188 Unlock Company Profile
Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson 1255 Unlock Company Profile
VMware 1411 Unlock Company Profile
Cisco Systems 2055 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone 166 Unlock Company Profile
IBM 818 Unlock Company Profile
Broadcom 362 Unlock Company Profile
BlackBerry 364 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 389 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 539 Unlock Company Profile
Pismo Labs Technology 259 Unlock Company Profile
Bright Data 217 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Cisco is the top patent filer in VPN tunneling, followed by VMware and Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson.

Huawei is another prominent patent filer in VPN tunneling. One of the company’s patents is aimed at an invention related to providing a service path allocation method, a router, and a service execution entity. In one of the embodiments, the router obtains a user identifier and IP 5-tuple information after receiving a packet, queries for a corresponding target service processing path according to the user identifier and the IP 5-tuple information and sends the service packet to the first-hop service execution entity in the service path for corresponding service processing.

For a different service flow, the executed target service processing path is different. Different service paths can be allocated to different service flows according to a user's customization and a service type, thereby implementing dynamic allocation of the service paths and increasing a utilization ratio of network resources.    

Other prominent patent filers in the space include ZTE and Juniper Networks. 

By geographic reach, Bright Data leads the pack, followed by Vodafone and Qualcomm. In terms of application diversity, Intel holds the top position, followed by Apple and Extreme Networks.   

Cloud innovation in VPN tunneling can significantly enhance the protection of sensitive data during transmission over public networks. It establishes secure, encrypted tunnels that encapsulate data and create a private communication channel, shielding it from unauthorized access.   

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

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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.