There’s been a lot of talk lately about who owns the most tech patents. Google, Apple, and Microsoft are all in the running, but there’s one company that’s way out in front: IBM.
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While companies like Apple, Alphabet (Google), and Microsoft are known for their innovative products, they may not be the first ones that come to mind when you think of tech patents. In fact, according to a report by IFI Claims Patent Services, a provider of global patent data and analysis, IBM was the top recipient of U.S. utility patents in 2018. The company received 9,262 patents, which is more than 2,000 more than the second-place finisher, Samsung.
History of tech patents
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the federal agency responsible for issuing patents and registering trademarks. The USPTO is part of the Department of Commerce.
Patents are granted to inventors to protect their inventions from being made, used, or sold by others without their permission. A patent gives its owner the right to exclude others from making, using, or selling the invention for a limited time period.
The USPTO issues three types of patents: utility patents, design patents, and plant patents. Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers a new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or a new and useful improvement thereof. Design patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture. Plant patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces a distinct and new variety of plant.
The USPTO grants patents on behalf of the United States government. The USPTO is not concerned with whether an invention works or whether it has been commercially successful; these are questions for patent holders to answer after they have received theirpatents.
The most patented companies
There are a few companies that own the most tech patents. These companies are:
-IBM: IBM owns the most patents in the world with over 8,500 patents. They focus on artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and quantum computing.
-Samsung: Samsung owns just over 5,000 patents. They focus on semiconductors, displays, and mobile devices.
-Canon: Canon owns over 3,000 patents. They focus on imaging and optics.
The most active patent holders
There are thousands of technology patents filed every year. A company’s success in acquiring and holding patents can be a indicator of its innovation. The most active patent holders in the U.S. are listed below.
The most influential patent holders
There are many ways to judge which company owns the most tech patents. One way is to look at which companies have been awarded the most U.S. patents in a given year. Another way is to look at which companies hold the most patents that have been cited by other patents.
The most influential patent holders are often those who hold patents that have been cited by other patents. This is a measure of the impact that a company’s patents have had on subsequent innovation. The list of the most influential patent holders includes some surprising names, such as General Electric and IBM.
The most valuable patents
The most valuable patents are those that cover technologies that are essential to a given industry or that are widely used across multiple industries. In recent years, the most valuable patents have been those related to semiconductors, digital communication, and software.
In terms of the overall value of their patent portfolios, the top three companies are Apple, Google, and Microsoft. These companies have amassed large portfolios of patents that cover a wide range of technologies.
Apple’s most valuable patents relate to mobile devices, such as the iPhone and iPad. The company also holds a number of patents that cover essential software functions, such as the user interface and multitouch gesture recognition.
Google’s most valuable patents relate to search and advertising. The company also holds a number of important patents relating to Android, its mobile operating system.
Microsoft’s most valuable patents relate to software, such as the Windows operating system and Office productivity suite. The company also holds a number of key patents relating to mobile devices, such as the Xbox gaming console.
The future of tech patents
There is no single company that owns the most tech patents. Instead, there is a patent arms race happening among the major tech companies. Each company is trying to hoard as many patents as possible in order to have a competitive advantage against their rivals.
The top three companies with the most patents are IBM, Google, and Microsoft. They are followed by Samsung, Intel, and Apple. These companies are all working on cutting-edge technologies that will shape the future of the tech industry.
While it is impossible to predict who will come out ahead in the patent race, one thing is for sure: the future of technology will be defined by whoever owns the most patents.