In the world of technology, securing a patent for a product can be the difference between winning and losing the battle for top spot. As any inventor will know, the idea is one thing, but unless you have legally secured and registered that idea, you’re susceptible to others capitalizing on your ideas and severely hindering profit margin.
This has been highlighted several times recently in the battles we’ve seen between electronic giants keen to assert authority in protecting intellectual property, notably the one between Apple and Samsung. The fruit company accused the Korean electronics firm of essentially copying the iPhone and iPad design with the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab. A lawsuit was filed, citing infringement of various patents assigned to Apple by US PTO, with one Apple rep stating, “This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.” It’s ironic that despite the lawsuits, counter lawsuits and all the squabbling over who did what first and which company patented what, the Korean company continues to manufacture many of the key components of your average iDevice, notably the LCD displays.
Jobs and Co. have also bore the brunt of suits regarding misuse of intellectual property, though. Nokia sued Apple over certain patents regarding communication between the iPhone and outside networks, and after a little bit of back-and-forth, the rivals reached a settlement whereby Nokia now actually gets a percentage of each iPhone sale, although it is unknown how much or little this sum equates to.
This one of many patent infringement complaints Apple has made over the last few years and you would think, what with Apple being one of the world’s most expensive companies and developing products that tens of millions are prepared to pay what can only be described as over-the-odds, that the Cupertino-based outfit would be pretty high on the list revealing which company has the most registered patents, right?
Wrong, Apple is in fact 31st on the list with around a thousand registered patents, while friend/foe Samsung tops the chart, with close to 12000 in total. Apple’s seem to just be more high profile due to it being one of the most talked-about companies on the planet. LG and RIM are fairly high up, in at 13th and 15th respectively, while HTC is way down in 38th in the count-up of protected innovation. Check out the chart below and see which company stands where, you might want to click it to get a better view of it:
With the smartphone and tablet market becoming more and more competitive, expect the big guns to continue dragging each other through the courts, all of which will be covered here at Redmond Pie!