Samsung Dwarfs Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) In Number Of Auto Patents Held
Samsung Electronics is way ahead of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in terms of number of auto patents owned. However, Google has stepped up its auto patent filings with the company looking poised to overtake Samsung in the next few years. The majority of auto patents owned by Samsung relate to battery technology.
Looking at the auto-related patents filed in the last decade, Samsung is on top with 510 patents. The company’s favorite categories in the automotive technology space are battery, navigation and data analytic.
Samsung has a Lithium-ion battery unit known as Samsung SDI, which has been in operation since at least 2000. The battery division supplies power cells that propel BMW’s electric engine models, namely i3 and i8.
Google boasts 308 car-related patents
Next to Samsung in terms of auto patents is Google, which has over the past 10 years amassed 308 auto-related patents. Google’s main area of focus is navigation. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) comes behind Google with the third-largest number of auto-related patents over the past decade. The company has secured 222 auto patents in that period, with most of the patents relating to infotainment systems.
Apple lags behind with 83 auto-related patents
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is also active in automotive research, obtaining 83 car-related patents in the past 10 years, mostly in the user interface category. Although Apple lags Samsung and Google by a wide margin in terms of number of car-related patents, the company has stepped up its patent filings for auto technologies. Nevertheless, Google is even more active in auto patent filings and it looks like the company will, in the next two or three years, have more car-related patents than Samsung.
Google is currently developing autonomous cars, whose safety records remain solid although they haven’t entered the consumer market. Apple is also rumored to be plotting entry into the car business, possibly as a manufacturer of electric vehicles with highly automated features.
Is Apple going into car business?
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s portfolio of auto patents doesn’t clearly show a picture of a company going into the car business as a producer. It seems as though the company is keen on bringing more automation features into the auto industry by partnering with traditional carmakers.
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