Who files the most patents? A key Apple supplier, Foxconn, is in the top ten. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is known by its followers to be particularly grabby in the patent space, which can be seen as a virtue or a sin, depending on your feelings toward the tech company. That’s why it’s surprising to note that in the year 2012, Apple itself was not among the U.S.’s top ten filers, but it did have a place in the top 30.
A patent is a form of intellectual property, and it involves a set of exclusive rights given by a state for an inventor. It is a solution to a technological good and is related to some kind of product or process.
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Due to the fast development of the tech space in general, its companies have dominated this space over the past year. A key issue, though, has been the so-called “patent war,” which raged in 2012, contributing to the importance of determining just who files the most patents.
They primary conflict of this “war” was the litigation between Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (KRX:005930) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), which ended with a $1.05 billion win in favor of Apple. An interesting thing was that Apple and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) were two tech companies who spent more money on patent litigation and patent purchases than on research and development.
While companies are concerned with their current research and development, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is already thinking more than just a couple of years ahead. Insider Monkey recently published a story about Apple filing several patents for products it may plan to launch in the future.
However, the war on patents is not slowing down and firms continue to register more and more inventions in order to beat their competitors, but several companies are leaders in applying for exclusive rights for their inventions. Surprisingly, but Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is not in the top ten companies who filed the most patents, which could be one of the consequences of the “war.” Apple’s latest version of iPhone is perceived as having more improvements than innovations, and some skeptics have said that Apple may lose its innovative edge.
We have compiled a list of these patent-loving companies who file the most; the information was taken from the IFI Claims Patent Services list, which is based on data from the U.S. Patent and Trade Office.
Highlights include Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), BlackBerry/Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY), Sharp, and International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM). There’s a mild surprise at No. 1, which, despite the fact that it’s been the leader for the past 20 years, it doesn’t get as much press as this tech company, for example.
Who else made the cut?