Which companies are buying the most new tech patents?
4th June 2018 10:40:00Tech startups, like Amazon and Facebook, are also expanding their patent portfolios.
These companies have been making money on a variety of products including software, robots, medical devices and smart home products.
But there’s a catch: their patents are not necessarily the most valuable.
In the first quarter of 2018, Google’s share of patents was just 5.2 per cent.
Its total patent portfolio is more than twice that amount.
“In the first three quarters of 2018 patent portfolio grew by 5.4 per cent, while the total number of patents on the market was just 17,919,” said a report by The Register, an organisation which tracks patent applications.
The report is based on data from a number of sources, including the US Patent and Trademark Office, a database of patent applications and patent filings from around the world.
It estimates that there were 17,746 patent applications filed by the top 100 tech companies in the first half of 2018.
While the growth of the top tech companies was greater than expected, the report noted that the share of patent filings by tech startups had declined from 31 per cent in the year before to 26 per cent this quarter.
The report also noted that while the growth in patent portfolios was impressive, it was still well below the peak of 30 per cent that was recorded in 2015.
“It is not clear whether the slowing patent portfolio growth is a function of a slowdown in innovation, or an acceleration of that innovation,” said the report.
It also noted a recent increase in patent filings among non-tech startups, which had previously seen a rise in patent portfolio numbers.
The UK government’s new patent regime, which comes into effect in June, has sparked debate on the extent of patents being owned by tech giants.
Some fear that it will encourage patent monopolies by giving the government too much control over the sale of patents.
The patent portfolio report comes after the US launched a probe into patent monopolistic practices by Google and other tech companies.
The US government said that Google’s practices had created monopolies in the global marketplace and prevented innovation.
Google has said that the US has “strong antitrust laws” and is seeking to remove Google from its US patent portfolio.
The search giant said that US regulators should be “unwilling to allow the US government to impose a monopoly on the sale and licensing of patents”.
“We believe that the U.S. patent system is one of the most effective in the world and is a key tool for encouraging innovation and for advancing our economy,” Google said in a statement.
Google and other top tech firms are not the only ones to be eyeing the UK’s patent portfolio in the wake of the US probe.
US President Donald Trump is also pushing for the US to end patent monopolising practices in the US.
He has said he will use his powers under the Patent Reform Act to force Google to change its patent portfolio policies.