Theme innovation landscape

IoT innovation: leaders in RFID packaging 

Credit: Bert van Dijk/Getty images.

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The packaging industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by rising environmental awareness, safety & trust, digitization and growing importance of technologies, such as near-field communication, active packaging and bio-degradable packaging. In the last three years alone, there have been over 427,000 patents filed and granted in the packaging industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Internet of Things in packaging: RFID packaging.

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 77,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the packaging industry, there are 30+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

RFID-integrated packaging is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) is being increasingly involved in the packaging industry to streamline the entire packaging process through the help of a unique chip that processes information, such as the number of units and the location. This ensures that the necessary data is always available to the companies whenever required. It involves the use of RFID chips and ports.

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 50 companies, spanning technology vendors, established packaging companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of RFID-integrated packaging.

‘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 RFID-integrated packaging

FedEx is the leading patent filer in RFID-integrated packaging. In August 2022, FedEx expanded its partnership with robotics company, Berkshire Gray, to deploy the company’s Robotic Product Sortation and Identification (RPSi) system in more of its facilities, and help improve the safety and efficiency of FedEx package handling operations globally. Some other key patent filers in RFID-integrated packaging include Toyo Seikan Group Holdings, ToppanAvery Dennison, and Ensurge Micropower.

Plastipak Holdings leads the pack in terms of application diversity. Lumson and FedEx stand in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, FedEx holds the top position, followed by Imperial Brands and PepsiCo.

Leading companies, in coming years, will increasingly leverage the power of technology to improve their overall package handling operations globally, thus significantly improving the overall supply chain efficiencies.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the packaging industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things (IoT) in Packaging.

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.