(PhysicsWorld) Patent attorney Andrew Fearnside offers a tour through the developing commercial landscape, with a particular focus on how this landscape compares to funding programmes currently under way in the UK and beyond.
The tour includes a “heat map” showing the distribution of technology areas, by patent classification code, covered by the top 20 patent filers. Highest activity relates to quantum well lasers, with Fujitsu, Nichia, Panasonic, Sharp, Sony, Sumitomo and Toshiba featuring heavily in this area. Samsung, Canon, Sumitomo, Sharp and Sony feature heavily in nano-optics technology areas, with Canon also patenting in relation to vertical cavity lasers. Microsoft Technology Licensing, IBM and Hitachi focus more on quantum computers, with Toshiba and NEC patenting in relation to quantum key distribution.
The speed at which these quantum technology programmes around the globe translate into commercially successful enterprises will depend on solving practical business problems such as the scalability and cost of product manufacture. The easier an established technology business is able to adapt to a new quantum technology – the quicker the uptake of that technology is likely to be.