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Apple doubles awarded patents, reaching 563 in 2010

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Apple was awarded 563 patents in 2010, making it the No. 46 global company in terms of inventions recognized by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last year.

According to IFI Claims Patent Services, Apple cracked the top 50 companies in 2010, beating out Du Pont, Sanyo, 3M Innovative Properties and Freescale Semiconductor. But the iPhone maker has a long way to go if it wants to catch up with some of the biggest patenters in the world.

The top company in 2010 was IBM, which was awarded 5,896 patents by the USPTO. That placed Big Blue comfortably ahead of the second-place finisher, Korea-based Samsung Electronics.

The gap between second and third was even greater, as Apple's rival Microsoft took third, securing 3,094 patent victories in 2010. Other noteworthy companies in the top 10 were Toshiba at No. 6 (2,246 patents), Sony at No. 7 (2,150 patents), Intel in eighth (1,653 patents) and Hewlett-Packard in tenth (1,480 patents).

As noted by The Wall Street Journal, Apple's total for 2010 is nearly twice the 289 patents it was awarded in 2009, and significantly higher than the 186 it won in 2008. Among those awarded in 2010 were several related to multi-touch screens.

Cracking the top 50 takes time, as companies must wait for the USPTO to review their application and decide to award them the invention. Most of Apple's 2010 patent victories reportedly came from applications filed in 2004 and 2005.

Patent awards were said to be up 31 percent last year from 2009, thanks to the USPTO's efforts to reduce a backlog of filings that have built up in recent years. IBM has been the largest patent winner for the last 18 years, and increased its total 20 percent in 2010.

As it has done for years, AppleInsider continued its extensive coverage of Apple's patent applications and awards with the USPTO in 2010. Some of the best from last year are included below.

Future Apple iPhones could share current location during a call
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Apple granted ownership of iPhone steel bezel design
Apple exploring interactive, glasses-free 3D holographic displays
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Carbon fiber could be Apple's key to a lighter next-gen iPad
post #2 of 13
Does Apple use each and every one of these patents? If any of them are not currently in production in actual devices that are currently for sale, some people think that Apple should lose them to the first company that infringes.
post #3 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by CEOstevie View Post

Does Apple use each and every one of these patents? If any of them are not currently in production in actual devices that are currently for sale, some people think that Apple should lose them to the first company that infringes.

Most companies have patents they do not use. Technologies that did not pan out... Technologies that are not ready yet... or some that just aren't worth the effort.
post #4 of 13
I would like to hear more about Apple fighting and winning when protecting its patents. Steve told us the iPhone and I assume iOS was well protected. I wonder if some of the delays in other pads might be related to patent suits from Apple.
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
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Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
post #5 of 13
It is difficult to correlate profits with patents actually being used. But yes, I do think that there should be a loss of the patent by default should the company not be able to prove that it is being used either through profits or R&D. So what if Company X is 123rd place, it's not even related to market cap, or even potential market cap.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by CEOstevie View Post

Does Apple use each and every one of these patents? If any of them are not currently in production in actual devices that are currently for sale, some people think that Apple should lose them to the first company that infringes.

You know that either software/hardware can be easily copied IF the general idea exist already. Lots of people don't have creative/innovative imagination they only know how to copy existing stuffs that are great. That's why patent system exist I guess.
post #7 of 13
All of these comments show you know nothing of the Patent System and it's intent.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by makingdots View Post

You know that either software/hardware can be easily copied IF the general idea exist already. Lots of people don't have creative/innovative imagination they only know how to copy existing stuffs that are great. That's why patent system exist I guess.

Idea's cannot be patented - only implementations. Their recent patents are absurd, but so is every one else's.
post #9 of 13
This is somewhat unrelated, but I cannot wait for Lion! It will have been 4 years since Leopard, OS X's last feature-rich OS update. I suppose it is natural that as OS X matures, it changes less and less with each iteration. Second only to the original iPhone, I remember getting the most excited about Leopard. I really enjoy seeing updates in user interface, graphics, and other end-user improvements. Mission Control and full-screen apps look really great. I can't wait to see what other Apple patents will come to fruition this summer!
post #10 of 13
To put patents into perspective, IBM has been granted nearly 200 patents in the first week of 2011.
post #11 of 13
And that others (IBM, Samsung and Microsoft were reported).

It's interesting that Microsoft who typically take a great deal of abuse in these pages for 'lack of innovation' have so many patents awarded .. clearly many are not in the consumer technology realm and therefore don't attract the same media attention as Apple or others who's focus is almost 100% consumer. but it proves the company can & does create innovative and new technology (over 3,000 times in the year).
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsftMacMan View Post

And that others (IBM, Samsung and Microsoft were reported).

It's interesting that Microsoft who typically take a great deal of abuse in these pages for 'lack of innovation' have so many patents awarded .. clearly many are not in the consumer technology realm and therefore don't attract the same media attention as Apple or others who's focus is almost 100% consumer. but it proves the company can & does create innovative and new technology (over 3,000 times in the year).

I understand where you are coming at... but the truth of the matter is much different. Microsoft, like a lot of tech companies... provides "incentives" to their employees for filing a patent. It used to be like $2000 per filing but I am sure its been changed now.

These patents are often really silly (IMHO) patents. I know I was pushed to file one for my cross-platform cross-browser algorithm. It was something we used but was it innovative? no it wasn't.

There are peeps at Microsoft who will split the reward with you if you have them submit the papers. Doing the write-up is a horrible chore. Many of my friends have several patents. again... I think its for some silly stuff most often. There are times when its okay.... and there are many concepts that just get laughed out of existence. (do you remember the briefcase in windows? - fantastic dev... but an ugly code path).
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPilya View Post

I understand where you are coming at... but the truth of the matter is much different. Microsoft, like a lot of tech companies... provides "incentives" to their employees for filing a patent. It used to be like $2000 per filing but I am sure its been changed now.

These patents are often really silly (IMHO) patents. I know I was pushed to file one for my cross-platform cross-browser algorithm. It was something we used but was it innovative? no it wasn't.

There are peeps at Microsoft who will split the reward with you if you have them submit the papers. Doing the write-up is a horrible chore. Many of my friends have several patents. again... I think its for some silly stuff most often. There are times when its okay.... and there are many concepts that just get laughed out of existence. (do you remember the briefcase in windows? - fantastic dev... but an ugly code path).


I also supposed for this..........
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