Google Inc (GOOG) and Apple Inc. (AAPL) continue to battle each other in someplace other than the consumer market: intellectual property.
The technology war between Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) heated up even further in 2013 as the search giant doubled its number of patent filings during the year. Although the companies haven’t dragged each other into court (directly anyway, since Apple sued Motorola, which is now owned by Google) over patents just yet, Apple’s global battles with Android device maker Samsung are notorious within the tech community.
Google, Apple receive nearly 4,000 patents
Apple Insider reports that in 2011, both Google and Apple received a total of 1,234 patents together. However, in 2013 they received a collective 3,826 patents, according to data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The website notes that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) in particular was aggressive in pursuing patents last year.
The search giant now has a little over 4,000 patents, and 3,042 of those patents were granted to the company within the last two years. Over the last three years, the number of Google’s patent applications has more than doubled.
Apple’s patent arsenal is massive compared to Google’s
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was filing for patents for more than 20 years before Google came onto the scene. Overall, Apple has 7,723 patents. In 2011, the company received 807 patents, but in 2013, it received nearly 2,000 patents.
But in spite of the big difference in the sizes of Apple’s and Google’s patent portfolio, the companies’ combined intellectual property is just a small fraction of the number of patents held by other technology companies. Apple competitor Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) has more than 60,000 patents in its collection, while International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) has over 82,000 patents.
Apple continues to battle Samsung
Meanwhile Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung continue to go round and round in court over their patents. The two companies have virtually made a mockery of the patent system, transforming it from something which is supposed to protect true innovations into something which merely presents an opportunity to sue a competitor and possibly get its products banned if there is any sort of minute resemblance among products.