Press Room

Nielsen Leads the Field in SharpBrains’ Report on Intellectual Property of Pervasive Neurotechnology

New York — May 15, 2015 — Nielsen has been recognized by SharpBrains as the leader in patents and IP holdings within the pervasive neurotechnology domain. SharpBrains, a leading market research firm tracking health and performance applications of neuroscience, analyzed intellectual property trends including the number of neurotechnology patents and patent quality, reflected in how many other patents reference them, for instance.

SharpBrains analyzed more than 10,000 patent filings from more than 800 organizations to determine global leaders. The pervasive neurotechnology industry is growing at a rapid rate. Today there more than 8,000 active patents and 5,000 pending patents in this area, contributing to a 500% growth in related patent activity in the past decade. Neurotechnology is moving beyond the medical domain and into more industries than ever before.

“Nielsen has made a substantial investment in neurotechnology over the past several years, which is reflected in the size of our patent portfolio,” said Joe Wilke, President, Nielsen Neuro. “It’s gratifying to be recognized by the SharpBrains study as the leader in this exciting new area.”

One of Nielsen Neuro’s main areas of focus over the past five years has been to develop a dry, wireless EEG headset with signal quality equivalent to the best wet, wired EEG headsets used in academia and medicine. Late last year, Nielsen completed a one-year clinical trial in Germany comparing its technology to the best medical EEG headset. The results of this study will be published in a peer-reviewed medical journal later this year. The company currently uses a wet headset to apply neuroscience methods to measure brainwave activity in real time, capturing both non-conscious and conscious reactions at the moment they occur in the brain. As a result, marketers are better able to understand the effectiveness of their advertising, branding, product development and packaging across a multitude of industries.

Pervasive technology is a game-changing industry rooted in neuroscience. The ability to monitor and interface with the brain has wide ranging possibilities. “Once we started the granular analysis of the intellectual property data, we were amazed by the wide variety of applications we found. This clearly demonstrates neurotechnology has gone beyond the medical domain, with non-medical corporations developing neurotechnologies to enhance work and life,” said Alvaro Fernandez, CEO SharpBrains. “We were impressed by the breadth and depth of Nielsen’s IP portfolio, showing a transformation underway in how consumer research and marketing are done.”


SharpBrains is an independent market research firm and think tank tracking applications of cognitive and affective neuroscience, with special emphasis on non-invasive neurotechnologies., the company’s blog, is one of the most popular brain & innovation blogs with 100,000+ monthly readers and 50,000+ eNewsletter subscribers. To learn more about SharpBrains’ work, visit


Nielsen N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers Watch and Buy. Nielsen’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services across all devices where content — video, audio and text — is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen provides its clients with both world-class measurement as well as analytics that help improve performance.  Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries that cover more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit


Gillian Mosher, 647-282-9714,