With unmanned aerial vehicles gaining attention as the future’s new industry, domestic and international companies are competing fiercely to secure original technology and patents in hopes to dominate the market.
According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office on October 28, the number of patents related to unmanned aerial vehicles submitted between the years of 1992 to 2011 is 282.
To be specific, 205 of these submissions were made recently, from 2007 to 2011. This is four times higher than the 55 submissions made from 2002 to 2006. The competition for unmanned aerial vehicle-related patents is heating up.
In Korea, Korea Aerospace Industries, Korea Aerospace Research Institute, and Korean Air were the three major companies to apply for a total of 57 patents. Internationally, Lockheed Martin, BOEING, and Northrop Grumman were three major companies to apply for a total of 27 patents.
Comparing the patented technologies from five years in the past (2002-2006) to the more recent five years (2007-2011), the number of patents for unmanned aerial vehicle systems and vehicle technology have increased from 41 to 91, and flight control computer technology from 9 to 42.
Also, ground control and control equipment technology patents increased from 3 to 28. Landing and takeoff technology patents increased from 1 to 33, and mission loading technology patents from 1 to 11, showing large growth.
Specifically, patents for flight control technology, ground control and communication technology, landing and departing technology, and mission loading technology increased drastically. This can be analyzed as that in the field of unmanned aerial vehicle technology combining aviation technology with ICT, ICT is becoming more important.