The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by factors such as cost-effectiveness, durability, and compatibility with stylus input, making them a popular choice for industries like healthcare, retail, and industrial automation, and growing importance of technologies such as the resistive layer structure and controllers that facilitate accurate touch detection and responsiveness. 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 Innovation in technology: resistive touch displays. 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, network-on-a-chip, in-memory computing, and aural exciters are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Electron beam lithography, OLED pixel compensation circuits, and PCI power management are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are capacitive touch panels and emergency communications network, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the technology industry

Resistive touch displays is a key innovation area in technology

Resistive touch displays utilize a pressure-sensitive layer to register touch input. These screens consist of layers separated by insulating dots, and when pressure is applied, the layers make contact, sending a signal to the control board. This technology allows activation using various objects like fingers, pens, or styluses.

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 130+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of resistive touch displays.

Key players in resistive touch displays – 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 resistive touch displays

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Alps Alpine 53 Unlock Company Profile
Fujifilm 461 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Paper Mills 50 Unlock Company Profile
Toppan 33 Unlock Company Profile
Toray Industries 90 Unlock Company Profile
TPK 56 Unlock Company Profile
Henkel AG & Co KGaA 21 Unlock Company Profile
LG Display 243 Unlock Company Profile
TDK 37 Unlock Company Profile
Nissha. 62 Unlock Company Profile
Hon Hai Precision Industry 25 Unlock Company Profile
Applied Materials 19 Unlock Company Profile
Asahi Kasei 42 Unlock Company Profile
Kaneka 42 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Electro-Mechanics 69 Unlock Company Profile
Nitto Denko 343 Unlock Company Profile
Teijin 30 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 34 Unlock Company Profile
Resonac 60 Unlock Company Profile
Dai Nippon Printing 29 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Chemical 163 Unlock Company Profile
Innolux 55 Unlock Company Profile
JNC 18 Unlock Company Profile
ULVAC 20 Unlock Company Profile
Fujikura 75 Unlock Company Profile
DIC 19 Unlock Company Profile
Shenzhen O-film Tech 86 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Metal Mining 103 Unlock Company Profile
Dexerials 105 Unlock Company Profile
C3Nano 58 Unlock Company Profile
Shenzhen O-film Technologies 20 Unlock Company Profile
Anhui Jingzhuo Optical Display Technology 18 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Among the companies innovating in resistive touch displays, Fujifilm Holdings is one of the leading patents filers. The company’s patent describes the manufacturing process for a conductive member that involves creating either a conductive layer with metal nanowires or a light-scattering layer with insulating light-scattering fine particles on a substrate in a specific pattern. Then, the other layer, whether it's the conductive layer with metal nanowires or the light-scattering layer with insulating light-scattering fine particles, is formed on a different area of the substrate where the first layer was not applied.  Some of the other prominent patent filers in the space include Nitto Denko and LG Display.

In terms of application diversity, Teijin leads the pack, while TDK and Dai Nippon Printing stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Henkel holds the top position, followed by C3Nano and Asahi Kasei.    

Resistive touch displays play a crucial role in interactive technology by allowing users to input commands through direct touch. Their versatility in responding to various types of touch input, including fingers, styluses, or gloved hands, makes them essential in a wide range of applications from consumer electronics to industrial control systems.

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.