For better or for worse, patents have taken a front seat in today’s technology world. Research firm IFI recently revealed the 2012 patent rankings and the usual suspects all made it to this much esteemed list this year.
Microsoft came in sixth in the list last year with 2,613 patents, a very healthy number putting the Redmond technology company a fair bit ahead of rivals like other major technology rivals Google (1,151 patents) and Apple (1,136 patents), which is no mean feat.
Microsoft retained the sixth position, as it raked up a total of 2,311 patents back in 2011 too.
The Redmond technology giant has diversified its offerings in recent years, as it aims to position itself as a devices and services company. And this much is clear, with these healthy numbers, Microsoft is putting the required efforts in research and development.
According to the story on the Sydney Morning Herald, the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued a total of 253,155 patents last year.
Just like in the 2011 list, a certain company by the name of IBM remained the top patent winner in the United States. IBM has numerous research operations in several other countries. Impressively, Big Blue has been topping this innovative list for 20 straight years now.
IBM topped this elite list last year with 6,180 patents, a record which it has now broken this year with 6,478 patents granted. That is almost 18 patents a day — a remarkable achievement.
The other five positions in the list are populated by consumer technology giants like Samsung, Canon, Sony and Panasonic, each raking up several thousand patents.
Oddly enough, one look at the list above reveals that a certain company by the name of Nokia is missing in action. Sure, the list only showcases the top 50 US patent winners of last year, but it still gives an glimpse at how the mighty have fallen.