SAN JOSE, Calif. — Among the top winners of US patents in 2014, Google cracked the top 10 for the first time, hitting No. 8 with 2,566 patents, up a whopping 38.6% from last year. Archrival Apple won 2,003 patents, up 12.8% to 11th place, just 92 patents behind Panasonic, which fell for the second consecutive year.
The latest stats show intellectual property continues to be a numbers game.
The US patent office granted a recorded 300,674 patents last year, up 8%, with most of the top 50 winners increasing their annual awards, according to figures compiled by IFI Claims Patent Services, a division of Fairview Research of Madison, Conn. However, the rate of growth of patent awards has been declining from a high of about 30% in 2010 to 12.8% in 2012 and 9.7% in 2013.
IBM continues to dominate the list at first place for the 22nd time with 7,534 patents, extending its lead over second-place Samsung, which was up 5.9% with 4,952. Big Blue saw its number of grants jump 10.6% after 5% increases the past two years.
“The centerpiece of our invention process is our internally developed Worldwide Patent Tracking System that has been refined over the years and helps our global IP law team to manage, maintain, and grow our patent portfolio in accordance with the company's current and future business needs,” said an IBM spokesman.
More than 3,000 of the new IBM patents -- 40% of its 2014 total -- are in hot areas such as cloud computing, analytics, mobile, social and security, IBM said. Over the past five years, IBM more than doubled its annual output of patents in these areas.
IBM’s wins come at a time when it aims to shed as many as 10,000 of its semiconductor patents to GlobalFoundries along with $1.3 billion in cash to take over its chipmaking operations.
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