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Aug 22, 2022 D'vorah Graeser


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I thought we’d shake things up a bit today with an infographic. The infographic below is based on our own analysis of the published patents/applications of Apple, vs Google and Microsoft. 

Consider this question when looking at the infographic - what is better for commercialization, steady innovation or racing from idea to idea?



Steady innovation vs spreading your bets

As you can see from the infographic, Apple is moving forward steadily with innovation on all fronts. It has a stable number of US patents/applications published in 2018 when compared to 2021. And the number of technologies is also steady. 

Microsoft and Google, on the other hand, have both reduced the number of published US patents/applications in 2021 when compared to 2018. But both companies are filing across more technologies. 

I was able to determine this difference by looking at the IPC (International Patent Classification) classes. Every published US patent and application has at least one, and usually more than one, IPC class. These classes help the examiners review the patent application and determine whether it should be granted. But they are also a proxy for different types of technologies.

So why might Google and Microsoft decide to spread their bets across more technologies? They may be trying out new product areas, or considering new markets. 

Apple on the other hand seems to be happy with its products and markets. So it has decided to keep going with its current technology focus.

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Published by D'vorah Graeser August 22, 2022