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IBM, Samsung Fight Over Patent Leadership in the U.S.

As much as those old businesses claim that their patents are used to protect their intellectual property and innovative spirit, it is often overlooked that patents have become a huge business across the planet.

For example, Microsoft recently said that it spent nearly $4.5 billion for license fees over the last decade, but it has also put 1133 license agreements in place to give licenses to its patents - and we know that Microsoft will be raking in more than $1 billion from Android vendors in the near future - annually.

IBM and Samsung are IT industry patent giants. No other company files for nearly as many patents as those two companies - and no other company gets as many patents granted as those two. At least as far as my personal records go, IBM just hit a new record high of patents granted; IBM received confirmation of a staggering 265 patents in the past week alone. Since August 1, IBM was granted the rights to 1975 patents.

However, Samsung was able to top that result. Samsung received 270 patents last week, which is the highest of any tech company over the past 6 years - at least as far as my records go. Since August 1, Samsung got 2324 new patents from the USPTO. Both IBM and Samsung are well on their way to exceed the number of the patents they received in 2010 - when IBM got 5896 and Samsung 4551. For this year, both IBM and Samsung have been granted more than 6000 patents already. 2011 is likely to be the first year in which IBM could have to surrender its patent leadership to a foreign company. So far, IBM has stood on top of the ranking since 1982.

  • jsc
    greghomeI wonder how many Apple patents have IBM and Samsung violatedI wonder how many IBM and Samsung patents have Apple violated. :more sarcasm:
    Reply
  • u_u-
    When are these patents going to expire?
    Reply
  • kartu
    I wonder why you say "worldwide". So far it's been only US (uhm, and poor Australia, that was forced to adopt US patent system) when you can patent crazy stuff and Germany, where you have judges that can ban product since it is also rectangular and has rounded corners.
    Reply
  • kartu
    jscI wonder how many IBM and Samsung patents have Apple violated. :more sarcasm:"multitouch" idea and "rectangular shape with rounded corners" vs antennas, 3G and stuff?

    And your point is?
    Reply
  • alyoshka
    I'm patenting me............
    Reply
  • ojas
    yes, wolfgang. apple's an angel, we get it.
    Reply
  • Soul_keeper
    chances are everything has been patented atleast 10 times ...
    just a matter of who has the money/time to make the courts agree with them
    Reply
  • feeddagoat
    I wonder how many of these patients are actually designed by these companies rather than just being ideas that they'll hold onto until a true inventive, inovative company comes along to actually build the product only to be sued into oblivion by these "young" companies who rested on their laurels and are sliding into obscurity like AOL, yahoo, HP etc.
    Reply
  • @__-_-_-__

    "patent trolls: part II - the 2 giants"

    you'll be hard pressed to find an innovative or software patent in Samsung's port folio, these patents were not acquired through acquisition but rather from their own research and development, so how you figure they were patent trolling? (not all patents are incomplete vague concepts, some actually have some substance to them)
    Reply
  • sixdegree
    If acquiring patents is a huge deal for these company, why don't one of them patent the way company acquire patents itself?
    Reply