Fraunhofer IAO’s patent index serves as position indicator for technology companies
May 6, 2014
Car2X technologies make vehicles “intelligent” and allow them to communicate with the objects around them. Encouraged by the numerous opportunities for developing new technologies and patents this brings with it, large and small technology companies alike are rushing to capture their share of this future market. Fraunhofer IAO’s Car2X patent index systematically shows companies where to find patent gaps and opportunities in the Car2X technology field.
In the future, bids to improve road safety will see vehicles not only able to communicate among themselves but also with their environment. This technological trend, which falls under the broader topic “Car2X”, is an area in which German companies have always been streets ahead as far as patenting is concerned. So the German automotive industry has nothing to worry about. Or does it?
Fraunhofer IAO’s recently developed Car2X patent index shows that while the German automotive industry currently has the largest patent portfolio in the Car2X field, it has slowed down in the face of international competition over the past two years. Statistics indicate that in 2013 and 2014, American automotive companies caught up in a big way, having registered the highest number of patent publications. The first big German company to make the list is ranked in third place, a long way behind the competition. What’s more, IT companies are muscling their way into the automotive segment by patenting products in the Car2X technology field – and we’re not just talking about IT giants such as Google here, but also smaller, IT-based enterprises. We are also seeing the first patent buying activities from what are known as patent trolls. Given the extremely unpredictable manner in which Car2X technology is developing, experts anticipate that these NPEs (non-practicing entities) will become increasingly active in the future.
Fraunhofer IAO developed its Car2X patent index to enable companies to keep abreast of the situation and of the latest developments in the turbulent ‘patent jungle’. Companies can use the index to identify current developments in patent law as well as technological advances in the Car2X technology field, and assess their own market position. On this basis, Fraunhofer IAO helps companies to develop company-specific technology and patent strategies. More information is available via the specified contact person.