"Patents are the lifeblood of the tech industry—and if last year’s numbers are any indication, that sector is performing with vigor.
More than 300,000 utility patents—those are the ones for inventions, rather than designs—were issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office last year, a record high. Such patents allow companies to put their inventions on lockdown for up to two decades, reaping rewards for significant R&D investments. And there’s another incentive: allowing businesses to stock up their intellectual property warchests and fortify their legal defenses.
“If you’re a bully you’re not going to pick on the big kids,” says Larry Cady, vice president of marketing and senior patent analyst at IFI Claims Patent Services, a firm that maintains a database of patents. “You’re going to pick on the pipsqueaks.”
So which companies are the head honchos…