Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) was an IBM wannabe when they first started. IBM prides themselves as being a company that files the most patents every year, but now Microsoft is catching up. Microsoft has been awarded its 10,000 patent earlier this month. Its not a big number compared to IBM, but keep in mind IBM at one point was the first company to be rewarded with 4,000 patents in one year.
Microsoft is currently ranked #4 among all of the U.S. companies that have received the most U.S. patents. Microsoft received 2,000 patents in 2008 alone. “Logging the 10,000th patent really is a testament to all of the innovation that has been taking place,” stated Bart Eppenauer, Microsoft’s chief patent counsel. It is important for the software giant to retrieve patents for all the technologies that they produce because there are many patent troll companies out there. Those companies will sue bigger companies after attaining patents for products that they necessarily do not make.
“Patents really are the currency of innovation in our industry,” Eppenauer added.”Most technology companies, Microsoft included, have been increasing their emphasis on IP in recent years, trying to derive greater business value from their intellectual assets. One way to value a patent portfolio is to look at the quantity of patents it contains. Another way is to look at the influence the portfolio has on others.”
Microsoft’s 10,000th patent is U.S. patent number 7,479,950. The patent claims the rights to real-world objects on a table-top computer’s display (i.e. Microsoft Surface). The computer automatically identifies the object, position, orientation, etc. The four inventors are Curtis Wong, Asta Roseway, Steven M. Drucker, and Joel P. Dehlin. Wong was also an inventor on Microsoft’s 5,000th patent.