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Who is winning the metaverse?

Analysis of the top 10 metaverse patent holders for the past five years gives a good indicator of who is leading the virtual stakes – and it’s not Meta

A new study by world leaders in patent data has revealed the companies that are poised to become the “Maestros of the Metaverse”, conducting the most innovations to underpin the 3D virtual reality space of the near future.

IFI Claims – a Digital Science company dedicated to providing the world’s most trusted patent data for research, innovation and technology – says patent applications provide telling insights into the leaders of innovation.

IFI’s partners at IALE Tecnología, based in Barcelona, have been studying all of the metaverse-related patent applications made over the past five years. Today, IFI Claims and IALE Tecnología have released their briefing report into the companies staking the biggest claim in the metaverse. The analysis was created by Enric Escorsa, CEO of IALE Tecnología, using IFI Claims data.

The metaverse is a proposed integrated network of 3D virtual reality worlds, an immersive space that is anticipated to become the next big era of the internet. Why is this important? Because it opens up avenues for expansion of social media, commerce, entertainment, and a range of industries and experiences in a whole new way.

“Patents are one of the best predictors of the frontrunners in any race for new technologies,” says IFI Claims CEO Mike Baycroft.

Escorsa says: “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 centres, universities and individual applicants, spanning hardware and software in a range of technologies.” 

Top 10 companies holding metaverse-related patents over the past five years:

  • Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC (158 patents)
  • Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (122)
  • Magic Leap Inc (109)
  • International Business Machines Corp (71)
  • Disney Enterprises Inc (40)
  • Facebook Technologies LLC (38)
  • Adobe Inc (31)
  • Verizon Patent and Licensing Inc (30)
  • Intel Corp (27)
  • Snap Inc (27)

The report states that over the past five years, Microsoft has made the biggest attempt to dominate in the metaverse-related patent space. Microsoft has been developing and protecting inventions in Al around human memory, virtual assistants in augmented reality, and holographic augmentation, among many others.

The report says Microsoft has made no secret of its intentions to acquire and develop metaverse-related technology. Earlier this year when the company  announced its acquisition of Activision Blizzard – the maker of immersive, interactive 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.

The top 10 companies have sought and received patents for technologies 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.

Cryptocurrency also forms an important part of the metaverse innovation landscape. The report speculates that cryptocurrency, underpinned by blockchain technology, will be required to support the virtual world’s very real economy.

Baycroft says: “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.”

Escorsa says: “Our analysis of the metaverse showcases one of the many ways to leverage patent data for competitive intelligence. IFI’s accurate and up-to-date data enhances such analyses of research and development trends.”The full briefing report on metaverse patents can be found on the IFI Claims website:

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