Over the past year, our proprietary database has identified some interesting patent activities. These activities highlight the overall patent sector, revealing the top patent accumulators, top patent transactions, top patent agents, and much more. The five insightful patent observations in the last year taken from December 26, 2012 to December 26, 2013 are as follows.
1. Grants and Applications: IBM retains #1 position for the most patent applications and patent grants. It appears that IBM may retain its position for years to come as the closest companies with the most grants and applications are nearly 60% lower on average. As of December 26, 2013, IBM received 6,388 patent grants over the last year, while Samsung came in second with 3,677 patents. For patent applications, IBM had 7,047 over the last year, while Samsung came in second with 4,104. The top three patent classes for which IBM has been awarded patents and files applications involve data processing, electrical computers and digital processing systems, and semiconductor device manufacturing.
2. Geographical Grants: The geographical area with the largest volume of grants for the year was Armonk, NY with 6,541. This comes as no surprise given that Armonk is home to IBM. However, Tokyo, Japan far surpasses any other city around the world with 28,113 patent grants.
3. Patent Class: Class 430 – Radiation Imagery Chemistry represented the patent class with the most patent activity at 59,873. The majority of the activity took the form of patent transactions at 57,197. Class 257 – Active Solid-State Devices represented the patent class with the most patent applications at 12,241 for the year. Class 370 – Class Multiplex Communications represented the patent class with the most patent awards at 9,311.
4. Patent Abandonments: IBM had the most patent abandonments at 1,333. Patent abandonments occur when companies do not keep up with maintenance fees. While IBM had a seemingly large amount of abandonments, there could be a logical explanation for them. For instance, with the massive amount of patent grants IBM receives each year and the number of patent applications the company files, IBM may purposely abandon patents for which a better or more pertinent invention exists compared to an obsolete invention. Furthermore, it may be more difficult for large companies with large portfolios to enforce maintenance upkeep.
5. Patent Agent: Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier, & Neustadt, L.L.P. is the top agent patent based on patent count. Based in Alexandria, VA, the firm was just 51 patents shy of prosecuting 6,000 patents in the last year, which is over 2,000 patents more than any other firm prosecuted.
These are just five observations that we’ve made. Our proprietary database, IPAnalytx, can produce many more results in a matter of minutes. With this information, you can make fast and sound business decisions. You can find out who your competitors are, find patent agents in your area, discover top patent classes, find abandoned patents, and much more. Discover how IPAnalytx can help you by contacting us today!