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Walmart Files For 97 Drone Patents

The retail war shall be fought in the skies.

A new report from Business Insider has revealed that Walmart has a total of 97 drone patents filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) since July of 2018, beating even Amazon in the drone race by a large mile.

In fact, by the end of 2018, Amazon only had 54 patents, just about half of Walmart’s. The year before, Walmart also beat the e-commerce giant with 57 patents versus 54, the same number as last year.

When asked why there are multiple patents for just a single technology alone, national head of technology and media for accounting firm BDO, Tony Skillet, explains, “If you look at the whole program of building and developing a drone, you could slice it up into maybe 100 parts. If you take out a patent over each individual part, you can then defend it piece by piece.”

Drone patents have actually been rising worldwide as the years go by, according to WIPO. The number rose by 34% in 2018, to 9,485 from 7,076 the year prior. As for Amazon and Walmart, each company actually filed for more patents for drone technology in 2018 than all UK companies combined, which totaled to about 38 patents.