Research and innovation in machine learning 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 153 in the three months ending June – down from 228 over the same period in 2021.

Figures for patent grants related to followed a different pattern to filings – growing from 116 in the three months ending June 2021 to 118 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.

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By GlobalData

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

Amazon.com Inc was the top innovator in the retail sector in the latest quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in the United States, filed 49 related patents in the three months ending June. That was down from 75 over the same period in 2021.

It was followed by the China based Alibaba Group Holding Ltd with 42 patent applications, China based JD.com Inc (16 applications), and the United States based eBay Inc (13 applications).