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In reality, Apple has far less patents that you would expect

Posted: , by Nick T.

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In reality, Apple has far less patents that you would expect
It is no secret that Apple has more than a few patents in its portfolio – both for plain and practical inventions and for strange and wacky concepts. However, it turns out that when compared to others, the amount of patents filed by Cupertino seems tiny when compared to what some of its competitors own in terms of intellectual property.

A recent study conducted by Chetan Sharma shows that with its nearly 12,000 patents, Samsung is the leader in that category, followed by Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent, which hold about 11,000 and 10,000 patents respectively. In comparison, Apple owns about 1,000 patents, which puts it far behind other companies, such as Motorola, LG and RIM.

Since Apple has filed a large amount of patent infringement lawsuits against its competitors over the past years, it is normal for one to assume that it owns far more patents than the rest of the players on the electronics market. However, the numbers clearly show that in reality it is the other way around. Nevertheless, the study takes into account only the raw number of filed patents without going into detail and analyzing what practical value they have, have they ever been put into use and whether the respective companies have ever profited from their protected ideas. Even though most of Apple's patents never see the light of day, Cupertino seems to be making the most of its good ideas, which is probably among the reasons for it to rank among the most valuable companies in the world

If you are curious, feel free to check out the entire analysis by clicking on the graph below and see how other companies compare.

source: Chetan Sharma via GigaOM

In reality, Apple has far less patents that you would expect
In reality, Apple has far less patents that you would expect

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posted on 19 Aug 2011, 09:57 9

1. axed97 (Posts: 16; Member since: 19 Aug 2011)


All the manufacturers need to stop these patent infingment lawsuits and actually spend the money on making a good product if your going to patent something patent the hardware or even the code for the software but not an idea. it seems like phone manufactures are suing competition rather than focusing on making a good product this does not apply only to Apple but all companys in the industry.

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 10:02 4

2. corporateJP (Posts: 1555; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)


Great point, but you have to realize, Apple fired the first shot that started this war.

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 10:09 1

4. dandirk (Posts: 187; Member since: 04 Aug 2011)


In some cases yes Apple did fire the first shot, but in others no.

Motorola actually sued Apple first in their current battle.

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 11:52 2

18. remixfa (Posts: 13925; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


moto sued apple after apple started suing everyone else. apple fired the first,2nd, and third shots before anyone fired back.

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 10:02

3. ohhh... (unregistered)


hahahahahahaha
this is so funny
i hope the other company start to look at their patents and claim it
this is the time to make some money like the apple way

btw i have apple iphone and using android and winmo too
but i do not agree with SJ trying to ban samsung and htc, its a dirty trick.
i hope they taste their own poison.

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 10:19

5. TKFox007 (Posts: 303; Member since: 02 Nov 2010)


Wow with 1000 patents they sure got a lot of balls to go around and sue people. And they get away with it because they're Apple and their patents are so broad that they can cover anything they want.

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 10:30 4

6. ilia1986 (unregistered)


Yeah, I heard Apple patented "Patents", so essentially they now own every patent which has ever been submitted - and which will be submitted from now on - in the history of mankind.

Time to make fruit salad, me thinks.

- "Hey Apple. Hey Apple. Hey Apple. Hey Apple."

- "What?!"

- "Knife. Mwhahahahahahhahaaa!!"

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 10:35 5

7. darth8ball (Posts: 519; Member since: 02 Aug 2011)


No surprise here they don't use their own ideas at Apple, they steal others ideas, change one tiny thing and call it Apple Property. What is the likelyhood that with that few patents compared to the companies your suing, that it is them not you that is the copycat.
Apple sux long live Android.

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 10:37 3

8. darth8ball (Posts: 519; Member since: 02 Aug 2011)


And where o where is taco50 on this discussion......

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 10:58 3

11. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4146; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Yes I am just waiting to see what good old, taco50, The_Miz & the rest of the iSheep herd have to say! This should be interesting!

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 11:20 4

14. binglut9 (Posts: 10; Member since: 12 Dec 2010)


Well its pretty obvious why people hate apple...they are trying to ban products and use false information to ban it...That right there seems to me like a legit reason as a consumer to hate them...I love choice and apple is interfering with that....

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 13:15 1

26. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4146; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


That is a VERY good point!

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 11:12 1

13. quakan (Posts: 1194; Member since: 02 Mar 2011)


Nokia is actually worse than Apple...they are leading the pack in patent lawsuits. People just love to hate Apple for some reason.

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 11:36 1

16. AppleFUD (unregistered)


I think the difference is, Nokia actually does have real patents for lots of hardware innovations/inventions. Apple has lots of vague patents for software that they are suing over in which there are tons of prior art--you know, like rounded corns on their icons, a grid of icons, locking the browser into scrolling vertical or horizontal, etc. . . And apple feels they can use anyone else's tech and not pay for it--like using Nokia's radio patents.

Apple doesn't have original innovative ideas. They are great at putting together tech and tweaking it in certain ways and very good at marketing the devices. . . Steve just can't accept that he & his company are not inventors and creators of new tech. They think because they added something onto already existing tech that they then "created something completely new" and then they go around spewing that such nonsense and their fans believe every work of it and regurgitate it endless on the web. . .

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 11:53 3

19. remixfa (Posts: 13925; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


nokia sues when it has an easy road and a clear cut violation. those DO actually happen. many companies have sued apple and won.. infact most have. apple on the other hand is using the most vague rules and straight up tricks and games to try to stiffle competition. Nokia didnt sue to shut them down, they sued to protect IP and get paid accordingly. there is a big difference.

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 10:47

9. som (Posts: 768; Member since: 10 Nov 2009)


May be a lot of companies will knock on Apple door very soon. Apple 1000 patents is nothing compare to 10000 patents.

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 10:55 2

10. ApplePaysMyBills (unregistered)


Apple has been making the same phone for 6 years now. They dont need as many patents as samsung, who has made hudreds of phones, cameras, accessories EXT.

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 11:11 1

12. dandirk (Posts: 187; Member since: 04 Aug 2011)


As they said, its not how many you have but which ones.

Motorola has been around a while, how many of their 17k are for punch card computers??? lol

Only 1000 is pretty low considering those probably include patents for imac, and the old macintosh.

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 11:24

15. binglut9 (Posts: 10; Member since: 12 Dec 2010)


moto also has 7,000 other patents that are pending so that makes it 24,000 thats a whole lot of patents and that is one reason why google went after moto to buy them because now all of android will be protected with these patents....How many are for smartphones who knows but moto has been around the phone game for a while

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 11:38 1

17. Ohh... (unregistered)


"In reality, Apple has far less patents that you would expect."

That would make sense for apple to be sueing everyone around for patent infrignment..

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 11:54 1

20. remixfa (Posts: 13925; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


the amount of patents mean nothing, its just how many pertain to your current roster. apple having the fewest patents makes sense since it makes so few actual products when compared to nokia or samsung who has a whole library of products dating back decades.

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 11:56 2

21. gallitoking (Posts: 4690; Member since: 17 May 2011)


ok here is my statement on the subject and all the dumb comments ( you know who you are)...made by most of you, ..... is plain and simple. most fo you dont like Apple for various reason and is aceptable, but there is also a reality check . Aplle is a very porfitable company that without firing in all cylinders has a iphone that like or not is revolutionary, Apple is not going anywhere, not today , not tomorrow and def not in the near future,, why the hate on Apple for suing, if there wrong then justice will be served, dont worry guys right, I mean evil never wins right?... if a fat lady sued McDonalds for making her fat .. and won...I say go Apple....

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 12:29 3

23. dandirk (Posts: 187; Member since: 04 Aug 2011)


One could make the argument that Apple WAS revolutionary. Now they are maintaining.

The most recent "revolution" has been the ipad and that was a year and a half ago The iphone has gone stagnant outside of hardware refreshes and incremental iOS patches. (Android is sort of in the same boat too).

Actually EVERYONE is sue happy right now, cause in the next year or 2 will be the battle for the market...

I predict after 2 more years, marketshare will be pretty much settled. (what ever the out-come).

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 12:59 1

25. gallitoking (Posts: 4690; Member since: 17 May 2011)


I agree.. Dandirk..

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 16:28

31. htc (unregistered)


i agree too... both ios and android needs to refresh their OS both are getting old

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 13:18 1

27. darth8ball (Posts: 519; Member since: 02 Aug 2011)


Pete Rose has a record that will never be broken, he will also never be in the Hall of Fame for betting on baseball, something that has nothing to do with his record. Both McGuire and Bonds cheated by using steroids to break home run records and they both will end up in the Hall. This country never was fair and never will be. That is all I have to say about that.

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 17:11

32. remixfa (Posts: 13925; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


u realize that that lady that won lost it all on an appeal right? she got NOTHING. in the end except a fat laywers bill.


and this is the real world, evil wins all the time. Good guys dont win until they decide to stand up, which is what google is finally doing. Yes, that means that you admit Apple is evil by your own thought process by the way.

And if you havent noticed, a lot of people hating on apple lately are APPLE USERS. Only idiot blind fanboys dont or wont see what Apple is doing. Take off the fruity blinders and get with the program.

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 21:47

37. adzadz (Posts: 3; Member since: 08 Aug 2011)


Maybe check ur spelling, Apple fanboy

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 12:24 1

22. WORRIED (unregistered)


LET'S BOYCOTT APPLE. WHY YOU ASK? For a real head turner go here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nK7TQVFSA1Y
And here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xerox_Alto
Now I ask myself Why is JOBS doing this? Why? When he admits in the youtube interview, that were it not for the "work of PARC "( funded wholly by Xerox) his company would cease to exist.
So you can "Steal" as you tacitly admit,but when you cringe when others designs are SOMEWHAT similar to "yours" Mr Jobs? That you originally STOLE? ( one news paper showed Apple STRETCHED their drawing of the Sammy Galaxy Tablet that Apple showed the court( see still cheating.. umm perjury))
I was honestly going to buy an Ipad. Could use it in work. BUT no way. No how now. Let the market decide the winner. Not the courts. I am not alone in this, but that too is irrelevant. Mr Jobs I'll buy Playbook, Galaxy Tab, Touchpad ( yeah, I know, but web os is elegant)cheap $100 OFFSHORE product before touching yours. CIAO

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 12:34

24. darth8ball (Posts: 519; Member since: 02 Aug 2011)


And that interview is not recent, I think 2005 maybe. I know it says it was uploaded in 07 but wasn't it old at that time, not sure. Anyway Adolph Jobs is as brash and narcissistic as they come to say that in an interview and now to have his company suing the tech world for making products to similar looking to his. HYPOCRITE DOUCHE

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 13:25

28. Bacon_Hat (unregistered)


Doesn't matter if Apple has 10 patents, if those 10 patents are very relevant to every mobile phone technology them they still win. Hopefully the majority are the high concept patents that provide no real value.

The patent system should have a statue of limitations on when someone should sue. I hate it when something is on the market for so long making so much money then the original patent holder says its not kosher to sweep in to rake the profit. It they nip it in the bud then they don't make money lol.

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 13:47

29. Tmachaveli (Posts: 425; Member since: 01 Apr 2011)


Taco where r u im ready to hear your excuse for today? Todays subject :Why Is Apple Such Assholes? Care to respond?

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 14:39 1

30. gallitoking (Posts: 4690; Member since: 17 May 2011)


hello Tmachaveli.... I ma not taco but love mexican food, so will but in.. no disrespect..ok..... Apple as a company is not assholes, at least form this side of town, but are the greedy Apple lawyers, ohh yess.. some of them... specially the bald one that smells like a foot ..hmmm.. lol.. jk he is not bald...lol... there is not enough evidence to say Apple are asshole.... they have a bite in their logo but as much as a hole??. or an ass??. I am sorry... I have to disagree on this one... sorry Tmachaveli for barging in.. but I was bored and was either updating FB or PA... chose PA... jejejeje

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 17:13

33. remixfa (Posts: 13925; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


proving ur an ibot again.

lawyers do NOTHING without client approval.. NOTHING. the lawyers cant be any more greedy than the client wants them to be. So if you think the lawyers are greedy and shady then u think that apple is greedy and shady. you cant defend one and chastise the other.. they are the same team, and NONE of them makes a move without Job's permission.

posted on 22 Aug 2011, 12:26

43. gallitoking (Posts: 4690; Member since: 17 May 2011)


you might be tech geek but do not know about law.. I have a rich cousin and trust me. is true.... but I guess your hate for Apple actually blinds you, is people like you that thinks the the worlds revolves around Jobs, let me tell you something... Apple si a COMPANY is not a person, is not satan,ok... not even non-profit organizations are clean , they all have skeletons in their closet and Apple is no different is just that Apple is always a target because of their sucess,

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 18:38

34. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)


So Apple being bashed again by andrones. Remix who are these Apple users bashing Apple? Apple has less total patents. So what? Does that make their patents less relevant?

Apple is a business trying to protect themselves. They're following the law and if they're wrong they will lose.

I don't see Apple users freak out every time someone sues Apple. That's because we're secure in knowing we have a great product. The hating you see on PA comes from the insecurity of knowing you have an inferior product

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 18:56

35. Lwazi_N (Posts: 205; Member since: 23 Jun 2011)


Apple invented: - Touchscreen
- rectangular-shaped phones
- front facing video call cam on rectangular phone
- multi-tasking
- tablets.
- application icons on the home screen

All these, are definite NOT's. Apple never came up with any of these, but they go around suing other manufacturers for making anything similar to that and calling them "patents".

How does Apple not invent the touchscreen but they can govern what can be done on that screen and how. They claimed to have invented multi-touch but that patent already existed.
They also claimed the idea of tapping on a number on a touch screen and getting an option to call that number- but Palm phones and S.E P and M-series phones already had use of that. The

S.E P1i also had an option for you to place apps on the home screen. Now Apple don't want Samsung to have such. In fact, it is Android who has such but Apple are going after their arch-rival.

A 1994 video showing a newspaper/tablet concept, was posted on the net recently... Then Apple claim it was their idea.

These are just a few reasons why I can never buy an iDevice.

posted on 19 Aug 2011, 21:09

36. theBankRobber (unregistered)


I 100% agree with you on this, my 2004 palm treo 650 had a touchscreen and when you tapped on a number it would pop up in your dialer to call. It's just a shame how Apple can market features as if they invented them and people eat them up. I have old guys at my job who have never played with a smartphone before watch the news and think Apple is the best company. But they don't like it when I tell them how many of those ideals are stolen, I even showed them the notification bar on my EVO and showed them the ios 5 stolen notification bar and they said, oh, wow that's something. I love my Android device but I blame Google for not marketing their OS like how apple does. They should be showing off how great the OS is and its many features you can't find on the iPhone but instead they leave it up to the phone manufactures.

posted on 20 Aug 2011, 12:02

38. andro (unregistered)


It would matter if apple had one patent and that was solely a patent for its awful antenna design it still would try to sue everyone somehow saying they copied it. Apple is losing and are desperate and will resort to anything. If their isheep slaves ever saw light of reality they'd be in big trouble

An APPLE can be rotten and have worms inside......isheep will still eat it anyhow!

posted on 20 Aug 2011, 16:57

39. fairly_mismatched (unregistered)


I wouldn't say that Apple is losing. At least not yet. But they do seem to be following the "bubble" trend. Dot coms, banking, real estate... history shows us that bubbles have to burst at some point. I think someone at Apple copped a clue so now they're stressing and getting antsy.

posted on 20 Aug 2011, 18:08

40. Nick (unregistered)


This article is ridiculous nonsense. Hardly anyone is suing each other about mobile communications related patents. The patents in dispute are related to touch screen computing and Apple has plenty of them related to the development of the Newton. Nokia sued Apple for telecommunications patents and Apple settled because Nokia really did have the early lead there. However Apple was the innovator on mobile touchscreen computing and the others will pay the price there.

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