Yole Developpement reports that about 5,500 microLED patents (2,500 patent families) have been filed, by more than 350 organizations. The rate of patent filing is growing exponentially - 40% of the patents were filed in 2019.

Patent publication timeline (2001-2019, Yole Developpement)

According to Yole, the recent patent filing shows that the industry is moving from prototypes to commercial consumer displays. Other notable new finding include that startup companies are a major innovation force, Apple is slowing down with its IP (but this could mean that the company is now focused on commercialization), and Samsung pursues multiple development tracks. BOE is another strong microLED IP player, with almost 150 patent familiies filed in 2019.

Yole further discloses that the growth in MicroLED patent filing is fueled by Chinese companies, which is not a surprise as Chinese display makers hold over 50% of the global display market in 2020. Yole estimates that total investment in microLED technologies reached almost $4.8 billion to date - with Apple alone investing almost $1.8 billion

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