Research and innovation in cybersecurity in the retail sector has declined in the last year.

The most recent figures show that the number of related patent applications in the industry stood at 137 in the three months ending April – down from 262 over the same period in 2021.

Figures for patent grants related to followed a similar pattern to filings – shrinking from 379 in the three months ending April 2021 to 253 in the same period in 2022.

The figures are compiled by GlobalData, who track patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Using textual analysis, as well as official patent classifications, these patents are grouped into key thematic areas, and linked to key companies across various industries.

is one of the key areas tracked by GlobalData. It has been identified as being a key disruptive force facing companies in the coming years, and is one of the areas that companies investing resources in now are expected to reap rewards from.

The figures also provide an insight into the largest innovators in the sector.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd was the top innovator in the retail sector in the latest quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in China, filed 58 related patents in the three months ending April. That was down from 129 over the same period in 2021.

It was followed by the United States based Inc with 42 patent applications, the United States based eBay Inc (15 applications), and China based Inc (12 applications).