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Apple awarded 676 patents in 2011, ranks 39th among all companies

post #1 of 35
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Apple was awarded a total of 676 patents by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2011, ranking it No. 39 among companies awarded inventions in the U.S.

The No. 1 inventor in America, as it has been for years, was IBM, which was awarded a whopping 6,180 patents in 2011. That was well ahead of the second place finisher Samsung, which won 4,894 inventions outside of its home country of Korea, according to IFI Claims Patent Services.

The gap was even wider between second and third place, where Canon came in with 2,821 patents last year. Another company from Japan, Panasonic, was close behind in fourth with 2,559, while Toshiba took fifth with 2,483 inventions.

Apple's 676 patents awarded put it ahead of companies like Research in Motion (663 patents, ranked 40), LG Display (643 patents, ranked 41) and Nokia (585 patents, ranked 47).

Companies ahead of Apple in terms of awarded patents were Microsoft, in sixth place, with 2,311 granted by the USPTO last year, Hewlett-Packard with 1,308 patents in 14th place, Intel with 1,244 patents in 16th place, and AT&T, whose 721 patents put it in 35th.

The 676 patents awarded to Apple were an improvement from 2010, when Apple won 563 patented inventions. In that year, Apple was ranked the No. 46 global company in terms of inventions recognized by the USPTO.

IBM and Samsung also held the top to spots in 2010, while Microsoft ranked third that year. Apple's 2010 patent totals were nearly twice the 289 patents it was awarded in 2009, and significantly higher than the 186 it won in 2008.

Patented inventions have become an increasingly important part of doing business in the mobile technology market, particularly as lawsuits ramp up between smartphone makers. Apple is currently engaged in ongoing patent infringement suits with Samsung, Motorola, and HTC, just to name a few.

As it has done for years, AppleInsider continued its extensive coverage of Apple's patent applications and awards with the USPTO in 2011. Some of the best from last year are included below.



Apple exploring Kinect-like 3D input for controlling Macs

Apple exploring universal power adapter to simultaneously charge MacBook, iPhone

Apple wants to improve OLED technology for potential use in future iPhones

Apple exploring lighter, more efficient hydrogen fuel cells

Apple exploring accelerometer, gyro stabilization for iPhone video recording

Apple interested in creating colorful, durable carbon fiber devices

Apple investigating augmented reality for improved iPhone Maps

Apple looking to simplify Maps on iPhone with dynamic emphasizing, exaggerating
post #2 of 35
Waiting for Slappy's to say Apple will fail because they don't have the patter market share¡

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #3 of 35
A very important point made by IBM:

Quote:
“Everyone knows that if they attempt to bring their patent portfolio against us that they will be met with an equal and opposite force -- and it will be formidable,” Schecter said.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-0...g-samsung.html


Also another interesting statistic:

Quote:
Still, IBM’s reign may be threatened in coming years by Asian rivals, IFI said. Samsung’s 8 percent growth in patents outpaced IBM’s 5 percent, and in the number of patent applications Samsung has eclipsed IBM for two years, the researcher said. Patent applications are an indication of future patent grants, IFI said.

"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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post #4 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

A very important point made by IBM:



http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-0...g-samsung.html


Also another interesting statistic:

1) Equal and opposite force isn't formidable, it's neutralizing.

2) I thought it would be Slappy who would claim the number of patents is more important than the quality or uniqueness of the patents

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #5 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

1) Equal and opposite force isn't formidable, it's neutralizing.

2) I thought it would be Slappy who would claim the number of patents is more important than the quality or uniqueness of the patents

Now you guys are picking straws here.

Define "quality" and "unique" patents.

"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

1) Equal and opposite force isn't formidable, it's neutralizing.

2) I thought it would be Slappy who would claim the number of patents is more important than the quality or uniqueness of the patents

Unique would apply to all the patents awarded to everyone wouldn't it? At least it's supposed to.
melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Unique would apply to all the patents awarded to everyone wouldn't it? At least it's supposed to.

From the filers PoV... I'd sure hope so.
From the patent office... it seems likely.
From a legal standpoint... not necessarily, as we've seen with many judges' rulings.

edit: And then even if you are unique and original it still has to be useful...


Apple's Optical Drive door underneath chassis of notebook


Cracked.com:

The 10 Most Ridiculous Inventions Ever Patented

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #8 of 35
But Apple is the evil one.

\
post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by msantti View Post

But Apple is the evil one.

\

I don't get your correlation.
post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

I don't get your correlation.

I think he thinks patents are 'evil'. Seems to be the trend recently, spread by socialists (who think you shouldn't own anything (yet still wish to consume goods that only exist due to the wonders of capitalism)) and companies whose business models are based on the systematic misuse of IP (such as Google).
post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

A very important point made by IBM:



http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-0...g-samsung.html


Also another interesting statistic:

That is why RIM and Apple have assigned some of their patents to so patent enforcement companies. you can't countersue a company that doesn't make anything.
post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

I think he thinks patents are 'evil'. Seems to be the trend recently, spread by socialists (who think you shouldn't own anything (yet still wish to consume goods that only exist due to the wonders of capitalism)) and companies whose business models are based on the systematic misuse of IP (such as Google).

Let's not make this political. I'm sure there are some socialists who understand why patents are inherently good for progress and I'm sure there are some non-socialists who want the wrong kind of patent reform, too.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

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post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Let's not make this political. I'm sure there are some socialists who understand why patents are inherently good for progress and I'm sure there are some non-socialists who want the wrong kind of patent reform, too.

I'm sure there are. I'm not trying to turn this political. But I sure have noticed that socialist ideologies and Fandroids and (wrong kind)patent reformers go hand in hand.
post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

But I sure have noticed that socialist ideologies and Fandroids and (wrong kind)patent reformers go hand in hand.

Oh, me too. That's just not a 100% case. I know you know that; just throwing it out there for those who might read it wrong.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

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post #15 of 35
I expect Apple to meet or exceed 900 patents awarded for 2012. They have already been granted 37 for January which will most likely have them nearing 80-100.
post #16 of 35
Quote:
Another country from Japan, Panasonic,

LOL. So Panasonic is a country now?

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #17 of 35
Samsung?

second most patents for the second year running?

from a company that people say does nothing but copy?

could it be people maybe don't have a clue how much research Samsung does on a yearly basis?

wonder if one of those patents is for a rectangular TV with a clean uncluttered bezel, black border, and packaged in a big rectangular box. lol.
post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

I'm sure there are. I'm not trying to turn this political. But I sure have noticed that socialist ideologies and Fandroids and (wrong kind)patent reformers go hand in hand.

Generalizations are dangerous, especially when definitions are constrained to a US centric view point in a global economy: http://www.energybulletin.net/node/53448
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

I think he thinks patents are 'evil'. Seems to be the trend recently, spread by socialists (who think you shouldn't own anything (yet still wish to consume goods that only exist due to the wonders of capitalism)) and companies whose business models are based on the systematic misuse of IP (such as Google).

You can be pro-capitalism and anti-software patents btw.

Software patents should require sourcecode as it is VERY possible to use 2 different codes to achieve the same exact function...function = copied...method =/= copied.

Or at the very least a significantly lesser term.

As long as something doesn't look 1:1 like something else nor function using the exact source code it should be allowed...if that's socialism then boy has the rest of the world been using the term wrong.
post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

I'm sure there are. I'm not trying to turn this political. But I sure have noticed that socialist ideologies and Fandroids and (wrong kind)patent reformers go hand in hand.

Please enlighten me on these socialist ideologies.
post #21 of 35
3-D printers are already creating a direct link from inventor to consumer. These geniuses in the lab are gonna eventually realize that they can go solo and make millions off their patented CAD files a couple of bucks a download. I would imagine that whoever invents the nano factory would own the last necessary patent. How can they possibly protect these other patents?
post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepy3 View Post

Samsung?

second most patents for the second year running?

from a company that people say does nothing but copy?

could it be people maybe don't have a clue how much research Samsung does on a yearly basis?

wonder if one of those patents is for a rectangular TV with a clean uncluttered bezel, black border, and packaged in a big rectangular box. lol.


Obviously Samsung is great at basic sciences and manufacturing (which is extremely impressive). But the artistic design of iPhone and iOS has been totally copied and that's obvious.

Their user functionality (which is a giantic profit center for Apple) has also been copied. So, financially that is a big twinkie to fight over.
post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwik View Post

Obviously Samsung is great at basic sciences and manufacturing (which is extremely impressive). But the artistic design of iPhone and iOS has been totally copied and that's obvious.

Their user functionality (which is a giantic profit center for Apple) has also been copied. So, financially that is a big twinkie to fight over.

worst part about it...they don't even have to.

As many iOS and Android themers show, and even deviantart mockup artists show, it is entirely possible to create something beautiful without it being a copy of iOS.

Apple is not the be all end all...not even close...I like that Google and Microsofts tablet OSes do not resemble Apple's. I like how (Despite what people say) Android stock and WP7 do not look like iOS.

I don't get why Samsung thought the best direction to go, especially with the SGS as the SGS2 doesn't look as much like iOS as SGS did, was to completely ape Apple's UI and old designs.
post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

You can be pro-capitalism and anti-software patents btw.

Software patents should require sourcecode as it is VERY possible to use 2 different codes to achieve the same exact function...function = copied...method =/= copied.

Or at the very least a significantly lesser term.

As long as something doesn't look 1:1 like something else nor function using the exact source code it should be allowed...if that's socialism then boy has the rest of the world been using the term wrong.

This idea isn't necessarily restricted to software. Let's say we have two rechargeable batteries that look the same and output the same voltage and current. They could be using completely different chemicals to generate the energy. Do we allow a patent for "cylindrical rechargeable batteries" or for "cylindrical rechargeable batteries using a Nickel Cadmium chemical reaction". There a fine line between function and implementation that needs to be clearly defined and up held.

That is the basic idea behind most people I know who call for patent reform. No politics involved.

The fact that Samsung has 8 times the number of patents as Apple, while "allegedly" infringing with many of it's products, shows that it must be quite easy to be granted a patent.

I don't claim to know how to fix it, but I do know it's broken.

I own...

1 Android Phone, 2 iPads, 1 Windows Tablet, 1 Mac Desktop, 1 Windows Laptop, 1 Linux Server, 1 Linux HTPC

 

They all are used regularly and each have their place. Competition is good.

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I own...

1 Android Phone, 2 iPads, 1 Windows Tablet, 1 Mac Desktop, 1 Windows Laptop, 1 Linux Server, 1 Linux HTPC

 

They all are used regularly and each have their place. Competition is good.

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post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

Please enlighten me on these socialist ideologies.

But then again - perhaps not. You know the guy is just going to talk inflammatory ignorant rubbish.
post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

I don't get your correlation.

Apple gets slammed for their patents that they take to court when they are infringed upon.

People slam them for crippling innovation by patenting everything.

well, IBM and Samsung kill Apple in patent filings.

Where is the outrage?
post #27 of 35
My feelings are that Apple will dump a lot of the Patents used in the current crop of smartphones into that Patent Dump.
To show everyone that they are willing to share, and stop going thru the courts. BUT,
everything new coming up with their new stuff this year will be of limits to all.

Apple has shown that they are different than every other computer, phone & other category coming up.
Think about it. Its up to Google and Samsung now to keep up with Apple now.
Apple has their plans all set up for some really spectacular things. And they probably have release dates for a 1) complete Siri implementation in several different items.
2) they have plans to put to full use all these powerful chips coming out soon, (you think Google and Samsung know how. I don't)
3) Microsoft and Google have had a few years to put their version of smart anything in cars. That is probably Apple's next conquest after they take over the T. V. and entertainment center.
4) Ive has had a couple of years playing around with that Liquid Metal stuff. Dick Tracy's watch will be a thing of the past.
5-10) I leave to all those smart guys.

NOBODY WILL BE ABLE TO FOLLOW APPLE ONCE THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO COPY.
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by msantti View Post

Apple gets slammed for their patents that they take to court when they are infringed upon.

People slam them for crippling innovation by patenting everything.

well, IBM and Samsung kill Apple in patent filings.

Where is the outrage?

When Samsung or IBM preemptively sue a Spanish tablet maker who makes tablets that look nothing like the iPad at all let me know.

When Samsung or IBM selectively sue only their biggest competitors in order to sue them out of the marketplace let me know. (screw Samsung btw...they should be forced to change their skin and hardware a lot...for the benefit of both Apple and the Android community...)

When Samsung or IBM sue over a rounded rectangular thin device (the drawing of which looks like nothing ever to be brought to market by Apple) let me know.

When Samsung or IBM obnoxiously offer a list of things competitors can do to avoid making rounded rectangular thin tablets with a bezel let me know.

No one cares about patents...it's what is patented and how it is used.

For instance...Samsung's patent on smileys??? WTF.

Sometimes protection becomes bullying. And from my perspective Apple bullies.

All subjective of course.
post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepy3 View Post

Samsung?

second most patents for the second year running?

from a company that people say does nothing but copy?

could it be people maybe don't have a clue how much research Samsung does on a yearly basis?

wonder if one of those patents is for a rectangular TV with a clean uncluttered bezel, black border, and packaged in a big rectangular box. lol.

You cannot reason with diehard Apple fanboys. Samsung is evil. End of story.
post #30 of 35
When they say Samsung do they mean Samsung Electronics or Samsung Group?

@sleepy3 It is by Samsung Electronics's own admission. They copy, that's what they do best. I recommend reading the book Sony vs. Samsung.

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post #31 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Let's not make this political. I'm sure there are some socialists who understand why patents are inherently good for progress and I'm sure there are some non-socialists who want the wrong kind of patent reform, too.

Anarcho-socialists, Marxists and Anti-Propertarianists don't like or understand intellectual property. I've argued with some of them for days on end.

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GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoss View Post

3-D printers are already creating a direct link from inventor to consumer. These geniuses in the lab are gonna eventually realize that they can go solo and make millions off their patented CAD files a couple of bucks a download. I would imagine that whoever invents the nano factory would own the last necessary patent. How can they possibly protect these other patents?

Once "3D printing" hits the mainstream and actually produces instantly usable parts or products, that will herald a new renaissance in manufacturing, but it will still only be a precursor to practical molecular manufacturing (aka nanoscale manufacturing) as outlined by K. Eric Drexler in his landmark book, Engines of Creation.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post

When they say Samsung do they mean Samsung Electronics or Samsung Group?

@sleepy3 It is by Samsung Electronics's own admission. They copy, that's what they do best. I recommend reading the book Sony vs. Samsung.

Yeah, they get awarded patents for copied ideas all the time. almost 5000 of them a year.
post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

I think he thinks patents are 'evil'. Seems to be the trend recently, spread by socialists (who think you shouldn't own anything (yet still wish to consume goods that only exist due to the wonders of capitalism)) and companies whose business models are based on the systematic misuse of IP (such as Google).

B.S. No one reasonable who understands business in any way thinks patents are evil. What they might think is evil is the way the patents are improperly awarded and the violation of the concept that ideas are not patentable, only the implementation of the idea. One of the most obvious examples of the ridiculous application of patents is giving Amazon a patent for "one-click", which Apple had to license from Amazon. And I've heard (although can't document) about patents seemingly awarded relatively recently for such concepts as filing objects in a cabinet. And they might also think that patent wars and companies who do nothing but buy up patents and then sue over them are not in the best interests of anyone but the lawyers.

One might also be opposed to the U.S. Congress (especially one that consistently talks about the founding fathers intentions) constantly extending the term of copyright, which was largely initiated in the last round by Disney, who didn't want Mickey Mouse (via Steamboat Willie) to fall into the pubic domain.

However, having said all that, there is one industry that works without patents/copyrights (for the most part) and the system seems to work quite well: the fashion industry. You can't copyright fashion, aside from logos. So Levi's does have a trademark on its logo and on the stitching design on the pocket, but that's it. Anyone can legally knock off any fashion that they see, aside from logos.
post #35 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

B.S. No one reasonable who understands business in any way thinks patents are evil. What they might think is evil is the way the patents are improperly awarded and the violation of the concept that ideas are not patentable, only the implementation of the idea. One of the most obvious examples of the ridiculous application of patents is giving Amazon a patent for "one-click", which Apple had to license from Amazon. And I've heard (although can't document) about patents seemingly awarded relatively recently for such concepts as filing objects in a cabinet. And they might also think that patent wars and companies who do nothing but buy up patents and then sue over them are not in the best interests of anyone but the lawyers.

One might also be opposed to the U.S. Congress (especially one that consistently talks about the founding fathers intentions) constantly extending the term of copyright, which was largely initiated in the last round by Disney, who didn't want Mickey Mouse (via Steamboat Willie) to fall into the pubic domain.

However, having said all that, there is one industry that works without patents/copyrights (for the most part) and the system seems to work quite well: the fashion industry. You can't copyright fashion, aside from logos. So Levi's does have a trademark on its logo and on the stitching design on the pocket, but that's it. Anyone can legally knock off any fashion that they see, aside from logos.

But the fashion industry is socialist...and ummm...they make no money...errr...umm, they um...hmmm...The fashion industry (and video games) seem to put a wrench into dude's POV.
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