Last year saw a surge in the number of patents awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, as a growing number of companies and individuals worked to ensure the protection of their intellectual assets.
The number of patents granted in 2010 increased by approximately 31 percent over 2009, with 219,614 patents granted altogether, according to statistics published by Fairview Research.
The growing number of patents indicates the centrality of intellectual property strategy for many businesses. As companies' intellectual assets grow, many employ tools, such as intellectual property management software, in order ensure innovations remain profitable.
In 2010, more patents were granted to IBM than to any other company - 5,896 patents altogether. IBM's new patents include technology for monitoring and reporting earthquakes based on data from computer hard-drive accelerometers, inter-vehicle wireless technology for traffic information and optoelectronic devices with light detectors, according to a CNET report.
Effective intellectual property management is increasingly recognized as central for business strategy. According to a recent Gartner report, companies that do not comprehensively manage systems may not be able to achieve the full benefits of information infrastructure.