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

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



1. axed97

Posts: 16; Member since: Aug 19, 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.

2. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

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

4. dandirk

Posts: 187; Member since: Aug 04, 2011

In some cases yes Apple did fire the first shot, but in others no. Motorola actually sued Apple first in their current battle.

18. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

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

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.

5. TKFox007

Posts: 303; Member since: Nov 02, 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.

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!!"

7. darth8ball

Posts: 520; Member since: Aug 02, 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.

8. darth8ball

Posts: 520; Member since: Aug 02, 2011

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

11. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 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!

14. binglut9

Posts: 10; Member since: Dec 12, 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....

26. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

That is a VERY good point!

13. quakan

Posts: 1419; Member since: Mar 02, 2011

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

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. . .

19. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 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.

9. som

Posts: 768; Member since: Nov 10, 2009

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

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.

12. dandirk

Posts: 187; Member since: Aug 04, 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.

15. binglut9

Posts: 10; Member since: Dec 12, 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

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..

20. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 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.

21. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 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....

23. dandirk

Posts: 187; Member since: Aug 04, 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).

25. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

I agree.. Dandirk..

31. htc unregistered

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

27. darth8ball

Posts: 520; Member since: Aug 02, 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.

32. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 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.

37. adzadz

Posts: 3; Member since: Aug 08, 2011

Maybe check ur spelling, Apple fanboy

22. WORRIED unregistered

LET'S BOYCOTT APPLE. WHY YOU ASK? For a real head turner go here: And here: 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

24. darth8ball

Posts: 520; Member since: Aug 02, 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

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