Apple keeps climbing up the patent-clinching ladder

On the same day Apple showed up in the Number One spot on a list of the most innovative companies in the United States, the hard-charging iPhone maker has done it again. This time, Apple weighed in at No. 22 on the IFI CLAIMS 2012 Top 50 US Patent Assignees.

OK, maybe not as sexy, but still pretty impressive.

Here’s a quick peek at the patent-grabbing companies Apple is still trailing:

1 6478  International Business Machines Corp United States
2 5081  Samsung Electronics Co Ltd KR Korea
3 3174  Canon K K JP Japan
4 3032  Sony Corp JP Japan
5 2769  Panasonic Corp JP Japan
6 2613  Microsoft Corp United States
7 2447  Toshiba Corp JP Japan
8 2013  Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd TW Taiwan
9 1652  General Electric Co United States
10 1624  LG Electronics Inc KR Korea
11 1535  Fujitsu Ltd JP Japan
12 1461  Seiko Epson Corp JP Japan
13 1436  Hitachi Ltd JP Japan
14 1410  Ricoh Co Ltd JP Japan
15 1394  Hewlett-Packard Development Co L P United States
16 1377  GM Global Technology Operations LLC United States
17 1292  QUALCOMM Inc United States
18 1290  Intel Corp United States
19 1285  Toyota Jidosha K K JP Japan
20 1157  Broadcom Corp United States
21 1151  Google Inc


Pay particular attention to that player in the No. 21 slot. Google, which has become even more of an Apple rival in the blistering smartphone battle over the past year,  posted a 170-percent jump in patents granted, with its more than 1,100 patents. Still, the two competitors were both big movers up the list this year. A year ago, Google had come in way down there at 65.

Apple, on the other hand, jumped 68 percent from where it stood with patents assigned in 2011. And that pushed the company up from 39th place last year.

“Google and Apple are clearly taking intellectual property very seriously, and playing to win,” said Mike Baycroft, chief executive of IFI, a patent research firm.

But in perhaps the most threatening sign of all for Apple, its arch-rival Samsung Electronics was granted 5,081 patents, coming in a fairly close second to I.B.M.

One notable creation of IBM’s that was granted a patent last year was for the technology that allowed its Watson computer to beat human rivals in the 20122  “Jeopardy!” championship.  in 2011.

And the categories are . . .



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