Microsoft once more ranked fourth, with 2,905 patents granted, whereas Amazon, which was granted 2,244 patents, was pushed right down to No. 11, two slots under its 2019 rating, in accordance with information from IFI Claims Patent Companies.
Final 12 months noticed a report variety of patent functions printed — 413,176, a 4.8% improve from 2019. However that’s not essentially an indicator that high-tech staff, most of whom have been working remotely for the previous 10 months, have been extra modern throughout the pandemic, mentioned IFI Claims CEO Mike Baycroft.
There’s sometimes an 18-month lag between when patent functions are filed and once they’re printed, that means a lot of the patent functions printed final 12 months have been really filed in 2018, and even 2017, Baycroft mentioned.
“We’ll have to wait at least another year before we can determine if the pandemic had any impact” on patent functions, Baycroft mentioned.
What is evident is that COVID doesn’t appear to have affected productiveness a lot on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Workplace, which granted solely 0.7% fewer patents in 2020 than in 2019.
“This is a minor downward tick in what’s been a largely upward trajectory we’ve seen over the past decade, and it’s still 13% higher than what we saw in 2018,” Baycroft mentioned.
IBM, Samsung and Canon stored the highest three spots on the U.S. patents listing. Intel, Apple and LG additionally stayed within the high 10, however like Amazon, Ford Motors was pushed down the listing final 12 months by Chinese language smartphone maker Huawei; Qualcomm, the California-based mobile expertise producer; and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing.
Seattle-based Amazon is thought for its off-the-wall patent grants, together with, final 12 months, a whip-like system for launching packages into house, drones designed to raise backcountry skiers out of hazard, and robots to drop off deliveries at prospects’ doorsteps, GeekWire has reported. In 2016, the corporate was granted a patent for a system that may put staff in cages atop robots to permit people to securely enter robot-only zones; and in 2012, Amazon received a patent for an air bag system to guard dropped cellphones.
The overwhelming majority of Amazon’s patent functions — and people of the Redmond software program behemoth, Microsoft — doubtless have extra high-level makes use of, although. Each corporations printed greater than 1,500 patent functions final 12 months for improvements within the fields of digital data switch, machine studying, quantum computing and neural networks, in accordance with IFI Claims. Amazon and Microsoft lately launched competing cloud-based quantum computing companies, Amazon Braket and Microsoft’s Azure Quantum.
Microsoft didn’t reply to questions on the way it deliberate to deploy its newly patented applied sciences. An Amazon spokesperson cautioned that its patent grants and functions “do not necessarily reflect current developments to products and services.”