ZKW ranks fourth among all Austrian applications at the European Patent Office

The ZKW Group filed no fewer than 46 patents – out of a total of 2,355 applications from Austria – with the European Patent Office (EPO) in 2023. This puts the Wieselburg lighting systems specialist among the top 5 in Austria. The developments registered by ZKW with the EPO reflect the latest lighting technologies for the automotive sector. The illuminated vehicle front is regarded as a top innovation in the lighting and styling sector. Another innovation that ZKW has applied for a patent for is ultra-thin light guide plates, which are intended to replace OLED lights and revolutionize vehicle styling. “Ongoing research and innovation is the DNA of our company. With innovative lighting systems, we create more flexibility in vehicle design,” explains Dr. Wilhelm Steger, CEO of the ZKW Group.

Animated fiber optic light for the front of the vehicle
With this innovation, the ZKW development team has succeeded in creating an animated light effect using glass fiber optics, which can be used as a cost-effective styling element for vehicle fronts (bumpers), for example. The light-conducting fiber strands are illuminated by several LEDs that can be switched on and off in sequence. The new technology is already being tested in the vehicle front demonstrator developed jointly with REHAU. “We use the light guides specifically as a diffuser and can therefore achieve very homogeneous illumination of thin, long and complex contours. The visual appearance could be improved even further by dimming the LED during the lighting sequence,” explain developers Leopold Pritzl and Stefan Etlinger.

Ultra-flat light panels as OLED replacement
ZKW has filed a patent application for a concept with the brand name “AreaZ®”, which enables homogeneous illumination thanks to specially designed optics, light guide plates and reflectors – similar to OLED technology. The innovation meets the requirements of car manufacturers as well as the legal regulations for signal and position light, requires little energy thanks to LED technology and is also more cost-effective than OLEDs. “The AreaZ® concept consists of a main optical body that bundles the light from several LED light sources using small extruded converging lenses and redirects it to the actual illuminated surface via so-called reflector facets. A second lens with a grained surface provides the desired “milky” appearance of the luminaire,” says Project Manager Christian Müllauer.

ZKW among Austria’s top patent applicants
Of all Austrian companies, Borealis was the most active with 183 patent applications, followed by Tridonic (60), Julius Blum (59) and Fronius and ZKW with 46 applications each. The EPO recorded a total of 2,355 domestic patent applications – similar to 2022 with 2,381 applications. As in the previous year, Austria took 14th place in the ranking of the most patent-active countries of origin in 2023 and remains among the top 10 countries with the highest number of patent applications per capita. This value is considered a key indicator of a country’s innovative strength.

Previous slide
Next slide

About ZKW
The ZKW Group is the specialist for innovative premium lighting systems and electronics. Since 2018, ZKW has been part of the LG Group as a subsidiary of LG Electronics Vehicle Solutions. As a system supplier, ZKW is a global partner to the automotive industry. The group develops and produces products based on our motto of “Bright Minds, Bright Lights,” combining bright minds with modern production technologies to produce complex premium lighting and electronic modules for international automotive manufacturers. Our top products include powerful and cost-efficient complete LED systems. The ZKW Group has a total of twelve locations worldwide, with intelligently networked development and production. In 2023, the Group employed around 10,000 workers and generated total revenues of 1.54 billion euros.
In accordance with the corporate vision “Ground-breaking premium lighting and electronic systems from ZKW for all mobility concepts of the global automotive industry”, the company’s primary goal is to produce top-quality high-tech products and to promote the development of innovative holistic lighting systems.
With our discoveries and inventions, the ZKW corporate group makes vehicles more desirable, more unique, safer, and more energy efficient. Our 360 degree product portfolio includes headlamps and fog lamps, rear lamps, flashers, interior and license plate lamps as well as electronic modules. Major automotive manufacturers trust their brands to innovative products from ZKW. We are proud of our customers like BMW (BMW, Rolls Royce), DAIMLER (MERCEDES-BENZ Cars and Trucks), FORD (Lincoln, Ford), GEELY (Volvo, Polestar, Lynk & Co, Geely), GENERAL MOTORS (Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac), Hyundai/Kia, JLR (Jaguar, Land Rover), Stellantis (Opel, Citroen), RENAULT/NISSAN (Infiniti, Alpine), VGTT (Volvo Trucks, MACK) and VW (Porsche, Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley, Skoda, Seat/Cupra, VW, VW Commercial Vehicles, MAN, Scania). With intelligent lighting systems and innovative styling, ZKW is shaping the look and character of vehicles worldwide.

Press contact

Mag. (FH) Sandra Simeonidis-Huber, M.E.S.


ZKW Group GmbH
Rottenhauser Straße 8
A-3250 Wieselburg
+43 7416 505 0

Press Download 4.96 MB