Canon, Epson and Fujifilm make top 50 in global innovation list

A trio of global print manufacturers made the top 50 in a 2019 innovation ranking list published by PatentSight, in collaboration with consulting and economic research company EconSight.

The ranking of the Global Top 100 Digital Innovation Leaders saw Canon, Epson and Fujifilm finish in the top 50, while Ricoh, HP Inc and 3D printing company Stratasys made the top 100.

Canon was ranked 33, down 17 spots from the same time last year. Epson took the 45th spot, down 15 from last year. Fujifilm ranked 50, down 19 from the previous year.

As for Ricoh, it took the 61st spot, down 17 spots from 2018. HP Inc came in at the 85th spot but was the only print manufacturer to rise up 11 positions in the rankings. Stratasys was ranked 100, down 29 spots.

Samsung, Johnson & Johnson and LG Electronics dominated the first three spots respectively.

Heidelberg claimed the 23rd place in the German ranking, and 325th worldwide.

Each year, Heidelberg applies for about 80 priority patents and submits around 220 subsequent applications. Some 60 per cent of these relate to digital innovations. This gives Heidelberg a total of approximately 3,400 existing patents.

Heidelberg CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer said, “As the 2019 innovation ranking quite clearly shows, the printing industry is anything but part of the ‘old economy’ – it boasts a large number of creative minds who are succeeding in turning ideas into innovations that have the potential to safeguard the sector’s future in the digital world.”

The 2019 Innovation Ranking is fueled by advanced patent analytics and focuses on the patent portfolios of these companies from a qualitative perspective, making it a ranking of the underlying technologies that these businesses currently possess.

The ranking was developed using business intelligence software and PatentSight’s portfolio valuation metric, the Patent Asset Index.

The analysis approach was based on three key findings: the networking of existing and new technologies, digitisation and the speed of technological change.

EconSight first identified and applied all the patents of the last 10 years that protected concepts that combined digitisation and classic technologies. Subsequently, the patents were evaluated on the basis of their technological relevance.

“Overall, the ranking shows all the companies that are active and performing well at combining digitisation and classic technologies,” PatentSight said, in a statement.

“All the companies in the ranking are developing more and more relevant (cited) patents in this important area of the future. Some, however, have a much stronger dynamic and therefore jump many places over this short period of time.”

The company added that the list identifies who in the race is leading the digital penetration of future technologies, and who is decisively influencing the global innovation landscape today.

“Digitisation is affecting all the technologies at an alarming rate. We live in an almost digital world. Disruptive innovation in many areas is unimaginable without digital processes. It influences almost every daily-use products and the processes of almost all the companies,” it said.

“The digital penetration of established technologies comes mainly from two directions. On the one hand, traditional industrial companies are expanding their digital expertise to improve their products and processes. Whereas on the other hand, companies are looking for concrete industrial applications for their digital know-how.”

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