As CNET reported on February 10, Microsoft has just been issued its 10,000th patent. But another CNET blogger pointed out that Microsoft has "not much to show" for its 10,000 patents, which he contends were obtained as protection against lawsuits rather than ways of pushing the company's product lines forward. Microsoft still receives most of its revenue from Office and Windows products.
The 10,000th patent, if you're wondering, is US Patent No. 7,479,950, which Microsoft said applies to its Surface tabletop computing technology. And here's more about the software giant's patent efforts: Microsoft was awarded 2,000 patents last year.
That, according to the above-linked article on ChannelWeb, is "enough patents to put Microsoft in fourth place behind IBM with 4,186 patents, Samsung (3,515) and Canon (2,114) in 2008, according to a story in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Last year the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) ranked Microsoft's patent portfolio No. 1 in terms of its power and influence."
Whether Microsoft's patent portfolio is indeed the most "powerful," or whether their patenting efforts would be better used for increasing new product development, 10,000 patents is certainly nothing to sneeze at.
I guess a person, well like me, never thinks of how many patents it actually takes for a monsterous company like Microsoft to file for. I see three other big companies are even ahead of Microsoft.
Well, I guess it is better than being sued for patent infringement down the road.
10,000 patents?! I wonder how much money that costs. Not that it is that much out-of-pocket for a huge company like Microsoft.
I'm sure the money is well spent on patents versus patent infringement court cases, not to mention stress.