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Fraunhofer Car2X patent index shows surge in US automaker and IT company activity; Germany loses its leading position

7 May 2014

Car2X technologies make vehicles “intelligent” and allow them to communicate with the objects around them. 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—and not just the giants such as Google—are muscling their way into the automotive segment by patenting products in the Car2X technology field.

Smaller, IT-based enterprises are making a mark in the Car2X patent field. Fraunhofer is 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.

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