Analyzed: Yahoo’s Patenting Trends [Indians Among The Top Inventors]

Business analysts and strategists are often found to rely on data to derive trends, which are used in gaining insight and facilitating decision making. With respect to technology companies, among various types of data used for deriving trends, patent related data is considered to be substantially important.

Patenting trends are found to provide insight into market entry strategies, product strategies, R&D efforts, IP strategies and acquisitions, among other insights.

Our team, out of curiosity, tries to identify macro level trends of various companies, and exhibits these trends through reports. We had previously published an article on Google’s patenting trends, and this article focus is on Yahoo’s patenting trends. This article aims at providing a birds eye view of Yahoo’s patenting trend.

The patenting trends illustrated in this post are listed below:

  • 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 class
  • Top 25 successful inventors

Year Wise Patent Filing Trend

The graph illustrates number of patent applications filed by Yahoo on a yearly basis.

As seen in the graph, the rate of filling patent applications has been increasing over the years. Specifically, there has been a sharp increase in the number of applications filed on 2006. In 2006, there has been a 100% increase in the applications filed when compared with the year 2005.

Further, the number of patent applications filed appears to decline towards the year 2011. However, such an indication can be misleading because the patent applications get published after 18 months from their priority date (Priority date is the date of filing the first patent application, among several patent applications, which may have been filed by the applicants for the same invention in different countries). Hence, the patent applications having their priority date in 2010 or 2011 might be awaiting publication. Therefore, the number of applications filed in the year 2010 and 2011 might be more than what is indicated in this graph.

It shall be further noted that, the number of patent applications filed by Yahoo in each of the years might be more than what is illustrated in this graph. The reason for the same is, one patent application is considered 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).

Country Wise Patent Filing Trend

The graph illustrates the number of patent applications filled in various countries. Note that all patent application related to a patent family are considered for plotting this graph.

As expected, US and WIPO are the top two jurisdictions in which maximum number of patent applications have been filed.

Further, India and Brazil, which are developing countries also find a spot in top 17 countries in which Yahoo has filed patent applications. Also, 9 non English speaking countries make to the top 17.

Another noticeable observation is the difference in the number of applications filed in the top 1 (US) and top 2 (Japan, WIPO is not a country) country. Yahoo has filed 671% more applications in US when compared to Japan. This huge difference may indicate, among other indications, importance of US as a market to Yahoo, and strong belief in IP enforcement system in US.

Year Wise Patent Filing Trend in Top 10 countries

This graph illustrates the number of patent applications filed in respective countries over a period of time.

One of the interesting observations is the fact that Yahoo was founded in the year 1995. However, they have patents assigned to them much before that. Such patents might have been acquired by Yahoo.

Further, Yahoo seems to have initiated seeking patent protection outside US after 3 years (1998) since it was founded. Furthermore, it may be observed that patent filing in Japan, where Yahoo has filed the highest number of patent applications after US, seems to have gained traction in the year 2007.

Another interesting observation is absence of patent filing in Australia in the years 2004 and 2005.

Top 20 IPC Codes

Known fact that information retrieval and database structures is the most focused upon area by companies operating in internet search engine domain. Yahoo being one of the dominant players in this field, as expected has substantial IP built in the information retrieval and database structures technology, which is represented by IPC code G06F17/30.

Year wise patent filing trend for top 20 IPC class

Top 25 Successful Inventors

Inventors from varies parts of the world are found in this list. Top 25 inventors of yahoo includes “del.icio.us” creator Joshua Schachter. Further, 9 out of 25 inventors appear to be of Indian origin.

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 data intelligently in their decision making process.

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

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

Patenting For Success: A 101 On Why And What Of Patenting [Legal Resource For Startups]

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