Abstract This study investigates magnetic levitation (maglev) transportation technology’s development status and global competition trends by mining patent data related to maglev transportation technology from five perspectives. It uses information collected from the Innography patent database: the number of annually registered patents throughout maglev’s development history, the key patent-contributing countries and their global distribution, the top 20 innovative organizations in maglev transportation technology, their organization type, and the technology distribution classifications of their patents, core patents, and their holders and registered regions. A comparison and analysis are carried out based on patent data. The study summarizes the development and main trends of maglev technology, the countries with strong competition, the markets with the most potential for maglev technology application, the focuses of technological research and development, and the future research directions of major innovative organizations and their core patents. The study offers suggestions and recommendations from both national/governmental (macro) and organizational (micro) perspectives.