The retail industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by security and technology, and growing importance of technologies such as blockchain, smart contracts, and cloud. In the last three years alone, there have been over 156,000 patents filed and granted in the retail industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Blockchain in retail: transaction blockchains. Buy the report here.
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 115,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the retail industry, there are 50+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Transaction data blockchain is a key innovation area in blockchain
A blockchain can be defined as a distributed database, which distributes data in a digital format electronically. A blockchain stores data in the form of blocks linked together in a chain. A transaction is a transfer, contract, agreement, or exchange of assets between multiple parties. A transaction on a blockchain is the transmission of data over the computer network of a blockchain system.
GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established retail companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of transaction data blockchain.
Key players in transaction data blockchain – a disruptive innovation in the retail industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to transaction data blockchain
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
In terms of patents filed, Alibaba Group, nChain, Advanced New Technologies, Overstock.com, and Rokfin are the leading companies in the transaction data blockchain space. Alibaba Cloud, a subsidiary of Alibaba Group, provides Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) for different enterprise-level applications including products provenance, supply chain finance, data assets sharing, and digital content ownership.
Leading players in the space in terms of application diversity are Ali Group, BanQu, Security Matters, and eBay.
In terms of geographic reach, nChain, eBay, Alibaba Group, and Overstock.com lead the space.
Transaction data blockchain offers several benefits such as decentralization, enhanced data security, better ownership tracking of goods and services, scalability, and tolerance.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the retail industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Blockchain in Retail.