IBM earned 6,478 utility patents last year, topping the list of patent winners for the 20th year in a row, according to data from IFI CLAIMS Patent Services. With its record haul, Big Blue bested its 2011 patent tally by 5%.
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Google kicked its inventors into high gear in 2012, earning 1,151 U.S. patents and more than doubling its 2011 patent count.
The U.S. patent office has rejected two claims regarding the last disputed patent in an ongoing legal battle between Microsoft and Alcatel-Lucent, appearing to pave the way for the software vendor to win a pending appeals case that would reverse a US$358 million penalty.