The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by environmental and regulatory compliance, efficiency and performance improvement, and growing importance of technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and automation. In the last three years alone, there have been over 1.7 million patents filed and granted in the automotive industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in automotive: interlocking filter assembly. Buy the report here.

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However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

300+ innovations will shape the automotive industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the automotive industry using innovation intensity models built on over one million patents, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, integrated multi-motor drivetrains, electric power steering (EPS), and post-collision handling are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Variable compression engines, V2V distance monitoring, and turbocharger shaft bearings are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) and plasma-jet ignition, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the automotive industry

Interlocking filter assembly is a key innovation area in automotive

An interlocking filter assembly is a filtration system designed to filter air, effectively separating oils and aerosols from crankcase blowby gases. It includes a filter element, housing, and components that can interlock with each other.

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 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of interlocking filter assembly.

Key players in interlocking filter assembly – a disruptive innovation in the automotive 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 interlocking filter assembly

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Volvo 5 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Boshoku 3 Unlock Company Profile
Beth-El Zikhron Yaaqov Industries 1 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 8 Unlock Company Profile
Freudenberg 2 Unlock Company Profile
AGCO 3 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 16 Unlock Company Profile
Cummins 48 Unlock Company Profile
Parker Hannifin 86 Unlock Company Profile
Donaldson 141 Unlock Company Profile
Caterpillar 2 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 2 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 11 Unlock Company Profile
Mahle 34 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 1 Unlock Company Profile
Goldman Sachs Group 15 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 15 Unlock Company Profile
ROKI 2 Unlock Company Profile
Stellantis 3 Unlock Company Profile
Toledo Molding & Die 2 Unlock Company Profile
WIX Filters 2 Unlock Company Profile
A. Kayser Automotive Systems 1 Unlock Company Profile
Johnston Robert D 1 Unlock Company Profile
MANN+HUMMEL International 461 Unlock Company Profile
Stella Vermogensverwaltungs 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

MANN+HUMMEL International is one of the leading patent filers in interlocking filter assembly. The company’s interlocking filter assembly includes advancements in filtration efficiency, materials, design, integration with digital technologies, and adaptability to various applications. Some other key patent filers in this space include Donaldson and Parker Hannifin.

In terms of application diversity, Toyota Motor leads the pack, while Toledo Molding and Porsche Automobil stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Donaldson held the top position, followed by Goldman Sachs and Porsche Automobil.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Automotive

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.