Samsung leads tech sector in automotive patents
Rumors surrounding Apple’s secret car project have continued to grow in recent months, however a fresh report suggests arch-rival Samsung has amassed many more patents in the automotive industry.
A tally compiled by SmartUp Legal and detailed in a Forbes report suggests Apple is actually fourth on the list tech-sector giants, with just 83 automotive patents. For comparison, Samsung holds 510 and Google is not far behind with 308. Microsoft sits in the third position with 222 patents.
Most of Samsung’s auto-patent portfolio is said to consist of battery technology, and the company still owns a stake in Renault Samsung Motors. Samsung’s SDI division is one of the largest global battery makers, developing cells and modules for Audi, BMW and Ford, among others.
Unsurprisingly, Google’s intellectual property reportedly focuses more on navigation and technology for autonomous vehicles. The search giant leads in terms of portfolio growth, filing new applications at such a fast rate that it is expected to take the lead from Samsung within the next few years.
Apple does not have as many navigation patents, instead focusing on user interfaces. SmartUp Legal Founder and CMO Mikhail Avady suggests the Cupertino-based tech giant appears to be breaking from its traditional strategy of amassing a large number of patents before entering a segment.
“It looks more like they’d rather go to the car manufacturers and play nice with them,” he said.
All of the companies will likely be gearing up to engage the fledgling market for autonomous vehicles, wether building entire vehicles or simply supplying the necessary technological components to make them work.