Close

Patent Power 2017

New competitors—and a new industry—mix up the scorecards

2 min read
Illustration: iStockphoto
Illustration: iStockphoto

Two household names—Amazon and eBay—are new additions to this year’s Patent Power Scorecards. It’s not that they hadn’t had valuable patent portfolios previously, but they had been omitted because their primary industry was retailing, which fell outside the tech-sector scope of the scorecards. However, as Amazon has branched out into Web services, its patent portfolio has become increasingly dominated by patents related to technologies such as networking infrastructure, Web transactions, and server hardware. The same is true for eBay, making both companies a natural fit for the Communication/Internet Services scorecard. Indeed, Amazon enters the scorecard straight into first place, knocking Google off the top spot. This makes Amazon the first company ever to rank ahead of Google in the Communication/Internet Services scorecard.

The Solid-State Lighting/Displays scorecard is also new this year. Companies in this scorecard focus on lighting and display applications, including computer displays, LEDs, touch screens, and flexible lighting solutions for commercial and domestic environments. Cree and Japan Display have the largest patent portfolios in this technology, with the former taking first place in the scorecard. Other companies with smaller high-impact portfolios include Kopin (displays for portable electronics), Elo Touch (touch screens), and Lighting Science Group (LED lighting systems).

Elsewhere, well-known names continue to lead the way, with IBM taking top spot in Computer Systems, Microsoft in Computer Software, and Apple in Electronics. Meanwhile, other companies worth keeping an eye on, based on their high-impact smaller patent portfolios, include Sonos (Electronics); Xyleco and Sarepta (Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals); Gentherm (Automotive and Parts); and Kraton (Chemicals).

The Patent Power Scorecards are based on objective, quantitative benchmarking of the patent portfolios of more than 6,000 leading commercial enterprises, academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies worldwide. This benchmarking—carried out by 1790 Analytics, based in Haddonfield, N.J.—takes into account not only the size of organizations’ patent portfolios but also their quality, as reflected in characteristics such as growth, impact, originality, and general applicability. The focus on both patent quantity and quality enables companies with smaller high-quality portfolios to fare well against competitors with much larger portfolios. (See “Constructing the Patent Power Scorecard” for a detailed explanation of our methodology.)  

About the Authors

Anthony Breitzman and Patrick Thomas are cofounders of 1790 Analytics. They specialize in technology assessment and intellectual property evaluation, publishing widely on the subjects and working with leading commercial, governmental, and financial organizations worldwide.

The Conversation (0)

How Quantum Computers Can Make Batteries Better

Hyundai partners with IonQ to optimize lithium-air batteries

3 min read
A tan car with a Hyundai logo. Overlayed is a rendering of lithium-air batteries with a call-out showing a rendering of a molecular compound
Hyundai

Hyundai is now partnering with startup IonQ to see how quantum computers can design advanced batteries for electric vehicles, with the aim of creating the largest battery chemistry model yet to be run on a quantum computer, the companies announced yesterday.

A quantum computer with high enough complexity—for instance, enough components known as quantum bits or "qubits"—could theoretically achieve a quantum advantage where it can find the answers to problems no classical computer could ever solve. In theory, a quantum computer with 300 qubits fully devoted to computing could perform more calculations in an instant than there are atoms in the visible universe.

Keep Reading ↓ Show less

What You Need to Know About the FAA 5G Kerfuffle

Why is 5G only a problem for planes in the U.S.?

4 min read
A plane, a 5G cell tower, and electrical wires are seen in silhouette against a cloudy sky
Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images

AT&T and Verizon finally fired up vital components of their 5G networks in the United States on Wednesday. Mostly.

The two companies had already agreed twice to delay the activation of the parts of their networks that operated on the so-called C-band, because the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration had raised concerns about the spectrum’s usage.

Keep Reading ↓ Show less

McMaster Engineering: Transforming Education and Fostering Research With Impact

By adding new faculty and developing innovative approaches to its curriculum, McMaster solidifies its world leading position in engineering

3 min read

The Faculty of Engineering at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., Canada is aiming to build on its ranking as one of the world's top engineering schools by expanding its recruitment of both tenure-track and teaching track positions across multiple departments. This broad initiative is expected to continue the growth of McMaster as a leading destination for innovative teaching and research.

Keep Reading ↓ Show less