IBM now top patent producer 20 years running
Google and Apple have been bulking up on their patents as well
IDG News Service - IBM has always been bullish on patents and 2012 proved to be no exception. IBM once again amassed more patents than any other company in a single year, a distinction it has enjoyed for the past 20 years.
For 2012, IBM received 6,478 patents for its research, the most any company has received in a single year, according to IFI Claims Patent Services, a research firm that compiles a list of the top 50 patent producers each year, using data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The firm tracks the number of utility patents issued. Those are the most common type of patent issued.
IBM, which was awarded 5 percent more patents in 2012 than in 2011, is not the only IT company bulking up on its portfolio. Google made its first appearance on IFI's top 50 this year, with 1,151 patents, an increase of 170 percent from 2011. It just beat Apple, which generated 1,136 patents. Apple wasn't resting on its accomplishments either. It had 68 percent more patents in 2012 than the year before.
Within the top five, IBM was followed by a set of consumer electronic firms that have also been generating more patents. Coming in second, Samsung got 5,081 patents -- up 4 percent from 2011. Cannon came in third place, with 3,174 patents, up 12 percent from the year before.
Only one other IT firm made the top 10: Microsoft was awarded 2,613 patents in 2012.
Companies patent their intellectual property to protect it against unauthorized use, as well as to use the patents in technology licensing deals with other businesses. According to IFI, IBM continues to aggressively patent its research in part to stay abreast of European and Asian companies, which tend to use patent protections more heavily than U.S. companies. In 2012, 17 U.S.-based companies made the top 50 list, while 26 of the firms on the list were based in Asia.
Between 1993 and 2012, IBM was issued more than 67,000 U.S. patents. The company has more than 8,000 researchers spread across 35 countries. Last year, IBM patented a wide variety of technologies, such as a Watson-based method for providing answers to questions (U.S. Patent #8,275,803), a technique for reducing energy consumption in cloud computing environments (U.S. Patent #8,341,441), and a set of algorithms and circuits that mimic how the brain's synapses work to learn new information (U.S. Patent #8,250,010).
Overall, USPTO issued 253,155 utility patents in 2012, an increase of 13 percent from 2011 and an all-time high for the federal agency.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- Aberdeen Group: Marketing Analytics for Manufacturing: Forging Customer Insights There are no recalls for poor marketing. Manufacturers need to get their customer intelligence and messaging right the first time. Learn how.
- The Brave New World of Customer-Centric Manufacturing The Unique Opportunity for Manufacturers to Better Understand their Consumers
- See the Possibilities Utilizing Data Visualization Do you simply want to collect data, or do you want to derive business insights from it? What if you could quickly and...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All IT Industry White Papers | Webcasts