Feeds

China lags on new tech patents

Japan surges, but just two Chinese companies scored big numbers of US patents

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Japan’s technology giants may be struggling to cope commercially with cheaper rivals from China and beyond but they’re still among the most innovative companies in the world, according to the IEEE.

The institute’s sixth annual Patent Power scorecard ranks firms according to the size and quality of their US patent portfolios in categories such as semiconductor manufacturing, software, computer systems and electronics. Each category lists between 16 and 20 firms.

The scorecard ranks firms according to their “Pipeline Power” – a metric calculated by taking the number of annual patents and weighting it according to various other metrics designed to reflect growth, impact, originality and other factors.

As such, it’s by no means definitive and obviously limited to the US but still provides a neat snapshot into the relative patent activity in non-American tech-producing countries.

One of the most telling observations is that only two Chinese firms appear on any of the relevant tech categories – Huawei, which filed 411 US patents in 2011, and Lenovo, which filed 81.

Japanese firms, by contrast, dominate in terms of non-US companies in the “electronics” and “peripherals/storage” categories and also sneak into the top 20 in “software” (Sony), “communication/internet services” (NTT, DoCoMo), and “computer systems” (NEC, Fujitsu).

Canon tops the electronics category, above Hon Hai and Apple, and there are even top 10 places for ailing giants Sony, Sharp and Panasonic.

Ricoh is number one in peripherals and storage, meanwhile, pipping NetApp and EMC, while fellow Japanese firms Seiko Epson, Fuji Xerox, Brother, Konica Minolta and Viviti Technologies ensure there are more entrants here from the Land of the Rising Sun than any other non-US country.

Even in the semiconductor space, where the global economic slowdown and the emergence of cheaper, more advanced facilities in rival Asian countries has hit Japan hard, the country still manages to get a couple of entries – Semiconductor Energy Laboratory (3rd) and ailing Renesas (15th).

It must be noted that the scorecard only covers 2011 – the last full year of patent activity – and it’s likely that Japanese firms such as Sharp, Panasonic and Renesas have since all dropped down or off that list as resources are diverted from innovation to merely staying afloat.

Chinese firms, whilst sparsely represented on the current Patent Power list, will surely turn that around in the years to come with the full weight of the government behind them.

A relative newcomer on the international patent scene, as this WIPO filing (PDF) attests, China’s latest Five-Year Plan apparently demands an increase in filings from 1.75 per 10,000 people to 3.3 per 10,000 people – which works out at over 400,000 in total according to the current population.

Fort those who want more info, the Patent Power methodology can be found here. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Microsoft: We're making ONE TRUE WINDOWS to rule us all
Enterprise, Windows still power firm's shaky money-maker
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.