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Samsung has topped a US patent list compiled by data journalism company Sqoop, one metric to indicate its intellectual property dominance.
Sqoop measured companies on three metrics: number of utility patents applied for; number of utility patent applications granted; and number of design patents received, as recorded by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Korean tech giant Samsung was top of all three lists, with US tech giant IBM ranked in second place for number of utility patent applications granted and number of utility patents applied for.
The study’s methodology combined subsidiary firms under their parent firm, treating them as single entities.
Speaking to Business Insider about the study’s findings, Sqoop’s founder and CEO, Bill Hankes, said: “I think it’s very interesting when you look at IBM and Samsung in particular, [to see] how many more patents they have in their portfolios on an annual basis than, say, LG, Canon, Microsoft and the rest.
“When you look at it on a weekly basis, it’s staggering how many patents [Samsung and IBM] applying for and that they’re granted,” Hankes continued. “It speaks to the value that they place on their patent portfolios.
If you take a look at the increase in patent applications, in particular, as well as [the number of] design patents [they received], it suggests these companies – not just Samsung and IBM, but other technology and automotive companies – are investing even greater amounts of resources in shoring up their portfolios
On the list for number of design patents received, only Apple made the top ten, placing in fourth; while on the list for number of utility patents granted, only Google/Alphabet made the top ten, placing in ninth. None of the big four made the top ten for number of utility patent applications made.
Asked about the relatively low rankings of Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon, Hankes said people should remember IBM’s and Samsung’s status as older tech giants. Samsung was founded before the outbreak of World War Two, while IBM is over a century old. Accordingly, he said, the big four would ramp up their inventiveness over time.
Hankes said: “When you think of IBM, it doesn’t have the sex appeal that companies like Facebook, Google, Twitter and Amazon have, and yet, its value by the patent portfolio would suggest its got very high value. [Samsung and IBM] are also hardware companies, and they’re much older companies.
Facebook, in particular, has moved up steadily over the past few years; Amazon has as well. I think you’ll see more investment in patents from these companies moving forward.
(Sources Sqoop, Business Insider IBM)
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