The aerospace and defense industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the pressing need for modernization, and the growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), unmanned systems, 3D printing, and composite materials technology. In the last three years alone, there have been over 237,000 patents filed and granted in the aerospace and defense industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Advanced materials in defense: aircraft composite laminates. Buy the report here.

Smarter leaders trust GlobalData

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 206,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the aerospace and defense industry, there are 110 innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Aircraft composite laminates is a key innovation area in advanced materials

Aircraft composite laminates refer to the use of composite materials, such as fiber-reinforced polymers, in the construction of various components and structures in aircraft. These laminates are formed by combining different layers or plies of composite materials, typically consisting of fibers embedded in a polymer matrix, and then subjecting them to heat and pressure to create a strong and lightweight composite structure. The use of composite laminates in aircraft offers several advantages over traditional materials, including improved strength-to-weight ratio, corrosion resistance, and design flexibility.

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 110 companies, spanning technology vendors, established aerospace and defense companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of aircraft composite laminates.

Key players in aircraft composite laminates – a disruptive innovation in the aerospace and defense industry

‘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 aircraft composite laminates

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Eaton 12 Unlock Company Profile
Daher Group 11 Unlock Company Profile
Advanced Composite Structures 10 Unlock Company Profile
Elbit Systems 19 Unlock Company Profile
Diehl Aircabin 12 Unlock Company Profile
Israel Aerospace Industries 11 Unlock Company Profile
Lockheed Martin 8 Unlock Company Profile
Wing Aviation 12 Unlock Company Profile
Ultra Electronics 8 Unlock Company Profile
Albany International 18 Unlock Company Profile
Corning 16 Unlock Company Profile
Toray Industries 9 Unlock Company Profile
Baker Hughes 14 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 7 Unlock Company Profile
Daikin Industries 10 Unlock Company Profile
Kuraray 34 Unlock Company Profile
Spirax-Sarco Engineering 16 Unlock Company Profile
Northrop Grumman 11 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 15 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsui Chemicals 10 Unlock Company Profile
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber 11 Unlock Company Profile
3M 14 Unlock Company Profile
Compagnie de Saint-Gobain 46 Unlock Company Profile
Asahi Kasei 9 Unlock Company Profile
Tenneco 29 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 10 Unlock Company Profile
Raytheon Technologies 32 Unlock Company Profile
Nitto Denko 10 Unlock Company Profile
Textron 37 Unlock Company Profile
Dai Nippon Printing 9 Unlock Company Profile
Safran 67 Unlock Company Profile
Boeing 325 Unlock Company Profile
Airbus 100 Unlock Company Profile
AGC 14 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 34 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Chemical Group 19 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Electric Industries 10 Unlock Company Profile
Smiths Group 19 Unlock Company Profile
TotalEnergies 15 Unlock Company Profile
Shanghai Electric Group 8 Unlock Company Profile
Carbon Revolution 13 Unlock Company Profile
Modern Meadow 57 Unlock Company Profile
ArianeGroup 15 Unlock Company Profile
Dow 10 Unlock Company Profile
Xerox 8 Unlock Company Profile
Zephyros 14 Unlock Company Profile
Bright Lite Structures 7 Unlock Company Profile
Proprietect 12 Unlock Company Profile
Lightweight Labs 11 Unlock Company Profile
Tecalemit Aerospace 11 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Airbus is one of the leading patent filers in aircraft composite laminates. Some of the patents filed by the company are related to rectangular or square-celled composite core structures for panels suitable for use in aircraft. The composite core structure comprises a plurality of cells sandwiched between the first and second body sides, with each cell having a void formed by cell walls made of multiple layers of laminated composite materials.

Airbus Atlantic, a wholly owned subsidiary of Airbus, is a leading player in the design, manufacturing, and integration of high-performance composite aerostructures. It uses cutting-edge composite technologies to manufacture a wide variety of thermoset and thermoplastic aircraft fuselage parts and aerospace equipment, ranging from nose fuselage section, center wing box, and aft fuselage panels to radomes, air inlets, wing flaps, keel beams, seat shells, and cockpit and cabin furnishings.

Some other key patent filers in this space include Boeing, Safran, and Textron.

In terms of application diversity, Diehl Aircabin, Northrop Grumman, and Elbit Systems are some of the leading innovators. By means of geographic reach, some of the leading patent filers include Elbit Systems, Daher Group, and Advanced Composite Structures.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the aerospace and defense industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Advanced Materials (AdMs) in Defense.

Data Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


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.