The patent battle is back, although this time it’s just a numbers game: Apple and Google both have been busy increasing their patent portfolios over the past year.
Apple won 2,003 patents last year, up 12.8% from the year prior, vaulting the company up to 11th place from last year’s 13th ranking, just 92 patents behind Panasonic, the IFI Claims Patent Services announced in a press release (via EETimes).
Last year, tech companies sought to patent 8% more intellectual properties compared to calendar 2013, resulting in an all-time high of 300,678 patents as the 300,000 patent milestone was surpassed for the first time.
Google entered the top 10 for the first time, positioning itself at No. 8, up 38.6% from the year prior, 21 patents behind Qualcomm and only 263 patents behind Microsoft. Of the companies appearing in the 2014 IFI Claims Top 50, 19 are US-based.
“It was a very good year for U.S. patents in terms of growth,” said Mike Baycroft, CEO, IFI CLAIMS Patent Services. “It was a particularly good year for U.S. firms which saw major gains from many of the top patent-generators, whereas overall foreign holdings of U.S. patents has held steady at roughly 49 percent.”
In the top position, we find IBM, Apple’s strategic partner for enterprise. This is the 22nd time IBM has topped that list. Last year, IBM won 7,354 patents, widening the gap between it and Samsung (No. 2), which won 4,952 patents.