Samsung Electronics has the most patents in wearable devices globally, a South Korean research institute has said.
Korea Electronics Technology Institute (KETI), a government-backed researcher of electronics components, in a report citing data from Thomson Reuters' Patent Search Service and World Intellectual Property Service (WIPS), said there were a total of 64,502 patents filed between 2003 and 2014.
The top 30 patent-holders accounted for 13.2 percent of the findings, with 8,539 patents.
Samsung filed for over 600 patents in the time period to become the largest holder, while the Netherlands' Philips was the second-largest, and Japan's Panasonic the third with over 400.
LG Electronics came fourth and Japan's Canon fifth, also with over 400 patents filed, KETI said.
Japan's Sony was eighth, while Microsoft and Qualcomm were 19th and 20th largest holders, respectively.
South Korea's Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), also a state-funded researcher, was 21st.
By country, Japan was the largest holder of wearable patents with a total of 17,813, accounting for 27.6 percent of all patents filed in the time period.
The US was second largest with 14,519 (22.5 percent), followed by China with 14,423 (22.4 percent), and South Korea's 5,036 (9.4 percent).
Europe filed 4,117, accounting for 6.4 percent.
"Patent filings in wearable devices [are showing an] increase starting in the year 2012. Though Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, and ETRI are leading in patent filings in the top-tier, Japan has multiple companies forming a strong group and US conglomerates are starting to file more, making the future of wearable[s] a battlefield between US, Japan and South Korea," KETI said in the report.
KETI was unavailable for comment.