Mobile technology and patent management intersected many times in 2012 as names like Apple, Google, Research In Motion, Samsung and Motorola all had the legitimacy of their portfolios called into question at various times throughout the year. Although it remains to be seen what innovations and conversations lie ahead for the industry, it seems as though companies on all sides have taken the importance of diligent asset management to heart in planning their 2013 strategies.
According to a comprehensive analysis launched by Chetan Sharma Consulting, the last decade has been a critical period for American mobile technology development as the number of associated patents issued annually grew 591 percent between 2002 and 2012. In that time, Europe has been displaced by the U.S. as the leading holder of mobile IP.
The gap is highlighted most prominently by the fact that analysts are expecting roughly one-fourth of all U.S. patents issued in 2013 to hail from the mobile tech category, whereas in Europe that figure is just one in 10.
Network World columnist Stephen Lawson also noted how patent holdings were distributed across different companies. Despite attracting the majority of headlines, neither Apple, Google nor Facebook could be classified as leaders in terms of patent volume. That distinction went to Samsung - within both U.S. and European markets - while perennial power IBM continued to exert its influence in this tech segment as well.