IP frontiers: navigating innovation in eight key industries

The industry sectors explored in this year’s IP Trend Monitor are automotive, biotechnology, energy, digital media, information and communications technology (ICT), medical devices, pharmaceuticals and space. For all of them, an advanced level of innovation is essential to the development of new products, services and business models.

Download the study to discover intriguing points about the influence of IP strategies and how different kinds of exclusive rights will shape the future of research and commerce. 


Report highlights


The automotive industry is being revolutionized with new engines, electronic systems, autonomous or semi-autonomous driving and a wide variety of sensors and real-time analytics.

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The pharmaceutical industry has matured to a point where the role of IP – particularly patents and trademarks – is massively valued. However, as in other fields, it is being disrupted by new technologies and business models.

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The biotechnology industry has advanced enormously over the past three decades, and all evidence suggests that its reach will extend immensely thanks to research into areas such as genetic sequencing and precision (or personalized) medicine. 

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IT & Communication

The rate of evolution in this sector is rapid, with the expansion of digital technologies sometimes described as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 

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Over the coming decades, the way we power most aspects of our lives will change substantially, from everyday appliances to transportation to domestic and industrial heating. 

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Digital media

Entertainment faces unusual dilemmas compared to most of the other sectors covered in this report. It has already been shaken up by digitization and streaming, along with the emergence of platforms and technologies that make it as easy to upload user-generated content as to share IP-infringing material. 

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Medical devices

The medical device industry is expansive and well-established, but wearable medical devices such as smartwatches and remote monitoring tools are still relatively new and raise several interesting business and IP complications. Meanwhile, virtual care platforms, implantable devices and robotics in surgery have yet to enter the wider public consciousness

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Space exploration

Space is one area where the effect of IP protection is yet to become evident; nevertheless, respondents identified certain topics as likely to pose IP challenges. 

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