Google’s Patenting Trends – Founders Aren’t The Top Inventors At Google!

Trend analysis is often considered to be the core of business intelligence. Various classes of trends are determined and analyzed to address the objectives of a business intelligence studies. One such class of trends that is considered to be crucial while studying technology companies is patenting trends.

Patenting trends of a company is derived by crunching patent information corresponding to a company. Various macro and micro level trends can be derived by crunching patent information. Such trend analysis has been found useful in determining the market entry strategies, product strategies, R&D efforts, key innovators of a company and collaborations, among other competitive intelligence information.

This study attempts to determine macro level patenting trends of Google. The report provides the following macro level trends as part of this study:

  • Year wise patent filing trend
  • Country wise patent filing trend
  • Year wise patent filing trend in top 10 countries
  • Top 20 IPC classes
  • Year wise patent filing trend for top 20 IPC classes
  • Top 20 successful inventors

Year wise patent filing trend

This trend indicates that there was a substantial increase in patent application filings in the year 2003, when compared with number of patent applications filed in 2002. The subsequent year, 2004, also witnessed a substantial increase in the number of patent applications being filed. Thereafter, the number of patent applications being filed has remained fairly consistent.
The graph tends to indicate that the number of patent applications being filed in 2009 and 2010 has decreased. However, it shall be noted that it generally takes 18 months from the filing data (priority date to be precise) for the applications to get published. Hence, some of the patent applications filed in 2009 and 2010 might be awaiting publication. Therefore, the number of patent applications filed in 2009 and 2010 might be substantially greater than what is indicated in the graph.

Country wise patent filing trend

As one might anticipate, US, WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) and EPO (European Patent Office) are the top three jurisdictions in terms of number of patent applications being filed. However, interestingly, 5 countries, China, Korea, India, Brazil and Japan, which are primarily Non-English speaking countries, find a spot in the top 10 patenting destinations of Google. Additionally, 3 developing countries, China, India and Brazil have found a spot in the top 10 patenting destinations of Google.

Year wise patent filing trend in top 10 countries

From this trend, it appears that, since the year 2003, Google has started to diversify their patent portfolio by filing patent applications in multiple jurisdictions. Among such jurisdictions, Brazil appears to have witnessed a decrease in the number of patent applications being filed, while most other jurisdictions have witnessed an increase in the number of patent applications being filed.
Top 20 IPC classes:

Year wise patent filing trend for top 20 IPC classes

From this graph, as one might guess, it appears that significant portion of the patent portfolio attempts to protect techniques related to information retrieval (which can be interpreted as search – IPC code G06F 17/30). Further, a significant portion of the portfolio attempts to protect techniques related to e-commerce (IPC code – G06Q30/00).
Please note that one patent/application per patent family (A patent family is a set of patents/patent applications filed in various countries to protect a single invention – same set of inventors) is considered for the above two graphs.

Top 20 successful inventors at Google

Interesting point to be noted in this graph is the absence of Google’s founders’ names among the top 20 inventors for Google, considering the fact that any inventor with 6 granted patents (patent families) would have found a spot in this graph.

To summarize:
In addition to the above macro level trends, various other macro and micro level trends can be derived to serve various analytical objectives. I hope entrepreneurs in India use patent date intelligently in their decision making process.

What’s your take?

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[About the author: Kartik Puttaiah is the Co-founder of patent services company, InvnTree IP Services Pvt. Ltd., based in Bangalore.]

1 comment

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