Microsoft has snatched up 158 Metaverse-related patents over the past half-decade, about 20 percent more than its closest rival in the space, according to a patent data company. The study reveals more than the leaders in the Metaverse, it also shows a sizzling competition for creating technologies that will master the Metaverse.

In the study, IFI CLAIMS and IALE Tecnología data scientists listed the top Metaverse patent-holders over the last five years. The researchers considered Metaverse technologies to include innovations such as: virtual and augmented reality, 3D projections, computer graphics, optical systems and heads up displays, holographic augmentation, pattern and image recognition, neural network models, machine learning, e-commerce, network security, blockchain and data processing.

After Microsoft, Samsung Electronics secured about 122 patents, followed by Magic Leap’s 109 patents. Facebook, although considered one of the Metaverse’s most vigorous banner-wavers, fell into the lower half of IFI’s top ten list with its 38 patents, although that sixth place finish might be because the company’s efforts are relatively recent and this list stretches back five years.

According to the report, Microsoft has been developing and protecting inventions that are important to the creation and management of the Metaverse. The report suggests that the company is particularly prolific in AI innovations around human memory, virtual assistants in augmented reality and holographic augmentation, among many others.

The report points out that Microsoft has made several moves to acquire and develop Metaverse-related technology and  properties, including  its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, a maker of game franchises like Call of Duty. Microsoft cited the “building blocks for the metaverse” as one of the main reasons for its purchase, estimated at nearly $70 billion, according to the report.

Cryptocurrency also forms an important part of the metaverse innovation landscape and the the report suggests that the Metaverse’s economy will require cryptocurrency, underpinned by blockchain technology.

Microsoft Metaverse Double the IP

The data reveal an exponential jump in efforts to secure real intellectual property rights for the virtual world in just the last half decade.

“Our analysis has found that over the past five years, metaverse-related patent applications have doubled to more than 2,000 across 842 companies, research centers, universities and individual applicants, spanning hardware and software in a range of technologies,” said  Enric Escorsa, CEO of IALE Tecnología, who conducted the analysis using IFI CLAIMS data.

Understanding these trends can help industry forecasters predict upcoming trends, said IFI CLAIMS CEO Mike Baycroft.

“Patents are one of the best predictors of the frontrunners in any race for new technologies,” added Baycroft.

Top Ten Metaverse Patent Owners

The complete list of top Metaverse patent holders includes:

  1. Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC (158 patents)
  2. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (122)
  3. Magic Leap Inc (109)
  4. International Business Machines Corp (71)
  5. Disney Enterprises Inc (40)
  6. Facebook Technologies LLC (38)
  7. Adobe Inc (31)
  8. Verizon Patent and Licensing Inc (30)
  9. Intel Corp (27)
  10. Snap Inc (27)

IFI is a digital science company dedicated to providing the world’s most trusted patent data for research, innovation and technology – says patent applications offer insights into innovation leaders.

“The IFI CLAIMS Direct platform empowers our partners to gain insights into the past, present and future trends of innovations and industries, such as the metaverse. IALE’s analysis highlights how you can comprehend new concepts through such patent data,” Mr Baycroft said.

The full briefing report on metaverse patents can be found on the IFI CLAIMS website: www.ificlaims.com/briefing-metaverse

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