Innovation Asset Blog

Patent portfolios shaking up industry power structures

Quality over quantity has long been viewed as a cliche in business circles, but innovative firms across the United States have recently been applying the principle to their patent portfolios and speeding by competitors as a result.

The latest research conducted by 1790 Analytics on behalf of the IEEE Spectrum has uncovered several important intellectual property developments. By ranking the patent portfolios of companies across 17 industries, Spectrum provided analysts with a clearer perspective on which market players could be poised to upset traditional power structures.

One prime example of a company leveraging its intellectual assets for business success is memory chip manufacturer Micron Technology. According to Spectrum, the Boise-based company was able to surpass industry giants including IBM and Intel to claim the No. 1 overall ranking - despite having a research and development budget outside of the top 100.

Micron chose to pursue a strategy of frequently patenting smaller inventions that led to further innovations and has generated a patent power rating approximately twice as strong as Microsoft.

Not surprisingly, Apple's headline-grabbing activity in the IP space allowed the company to make the largest leap in this year's ranking. Through its diligent strategy of licensing and acquisitions, Apple now holds a competitive advantage over former segment leaders Panasonic, Sony and Hitachi.

Peter Ackerman

Peter Ackerman

Founder & CEO, Innovation Asset Group, Inc.