Annex Newsflash 2006-03 January 10, 2006
An OPEN Client Edition
Updated 1/10/06, 5:20PM MST, adds Three IBM Initiatives
Analysis of U.S. Patents in 2005
U.S. Patents Decline
Innovation at IBM, Intel Appears to Drop, But It Is Up at HP
SCOTTSDALE, Jan 10
- IBM used to pride itself as the innovation leader among the largest
multinational companies. And
Big Blue is still the number one U.S. patent winner for the 13th straight
year. But the number of patents issued to IBM in 2005 declined by
over nine percent compared to the year before (down to 2,972), according
to an analysis of the annual ranking by the U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office report that was released today (Jan 10). Last year
was the first since 2001 that the number of IBM patents dropped below
was just IBM's innovativeness down. The total number of patents issued in
the U.S. declined even steeper (12%) compared to 2004, said IFI
Patent Intelligence in a press release.
It was the second year in a row that the country consumed more while
inventing less. In 2004, the number of U.S. patents had dropped 2.7%
from the year before.
The only U.S.-based multinational whose innovativeness is up was Hewlett-Packard. The number of patents registered to HP increased to 1,797 in 2005, from 1,775 in 2004.
was one of only three companies in the top 10 to show increases. The other
two were non-U.S. multinationals - the No. 2, Canon Kabushiki Kaisha, and
No. 5 Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. Intel, No. 7 on the top 10 list, had a
3.2% drop in the number of patents issued in 2005.
it looks like America's innovation is going down the tubes? Not really,
according to IFI Patent Intelligence. It is more a case of the U.S.
patent bureaucracy going up.
overall number of patent applications is actually rising," said
Darlene Slaughter, the IFI Patent Intelligence GM, in a press release.
"This leads us to believe that we're not experiencing a real crisis
of innovation but rather an enormous backlog of applications being
that’s one take on it. Another
is that a rise in the number of applications could indicate an increase in
wishful thinking rather than real innovation?
But assuming that the IFI explanation is right, isn't technology supposed to increase efficiencies and speed up processes? Guess not at the U.S. patent office. Chalk this government agency up as another opportunity for IT services companies, perhaps led by IBM and HP? J Their R&D departments are sure to cheer them on.
No sooner did the U.S. Patent Office release its 2005 data, IBM issued a press release outlining three industry-wide initiatives aimed at increasing quality over quantity of patents.
"IBM believes that patents should be granted only for ideas that embody genuine scientific progress and technological innovation," said Dr. John E. Kelly III, IBM senior vice president of Technology and Intellectual Property, in a statement. "Raising the quality of patents will encourage continued investment in research and development by individual inventors, small businesses, corporations and academic institutions while helping to prevent over-protection that works against innovation and the public interest."
three initiatives are:
We titled our last year's update to our five-year IBM forecast "Quality over Quantity" (Mar 2005). The comment was primarily motivated by the beneficial impact on IBM profit margins we expected from the sale of IBM PC business to China's Lenovo.
Now we can see the same theme applying to IBM's approach to innovation. Even though the company still leads the industry's R&D in a quantitative sense, too, Big Blue is now putting more emphasis on quality of patents, and it is taking the lead position in the industry in this direction.
It should surprise no one that the companies that believe in openness, such as Sun and the leading Linux proponents, were the first ones to join in. Sooner or later, others are bound to follow.
Happy bargain hunting!
For additional Annex Research reports, check out... Annex
Bulletin Index 2006 (including all prior years' indexes) Volume XXII, Annex Newsflash 2006-03 Bob Djurdjevic, Editor 8183 E Mountain Spring Rd, Scottsdale, Arizona
85255 The copyright-protected
information contained in the ANNEX BULLETINS and ANNEX NEWSFLASHES
is part of the Comprehensive Market Service (CMS). It is
intended for the exclusive use by those who have contracted for the
entire CMS service.
For additional Annex Research reports, check out... Annex Bulletin Index 2006 (including all prior years' indexes)
Volume XXII, Annex Newsflash 2006-03
Bob Djurdjevic, Editor
8183 E Mountain Spring Rd, Scottsdale, Arizona
The copyright-protected information contained in the ANNEX BULLETINS and ANNEX NEWSFLASHES is part of the Comprehensive Market Service (CMS). It is intended for the exclusive use by those who have contracted for the entire CMS service.