Headquarters: Shenzhen, China
Industry: Unmanned aerial vehicles
Chinese start-up DJI controls a large share of the consumer market for commercial unmanned aerial vehicles or drones. Founded in 2006 in Shenzhen by inventor Frank Wang, the company sought patent protection for its innovations from day one and has poured significant resources into its IP capabilites. In 2015 it opened an R&D centre in Palo Alto, after hiring key executives from Apple and Tesla. That same year it also made an investment in high-end Swedish camera manufacturer Hasselblad, which has a longstanding pedigree in aerial photography. As the sector has become more competitive, it has tactically wielded its patent portfolio to protect its products; in 2016 it filed patent infringement lawsuits in the US against fellow Chinese competitors Yuneec and Autel Robotics.