Weekly IP Takeaways

In IP Blog

The Tech Sector Controls Utility Patents But Is There a Halt in Innovation?

Out of the top 25 companies with the most patents granted in 2021, 16 of them belong to the technology sector despite utility patents not being limited to the tech sector. In fact, thousands of companies from all sectors apply for utility patents every year—and for good reason. Applying for a patent is an important step in protecting your invention. Essentially, patents provide exclusive commercial rights and protect these rights from competitors, assuming the applicant meets all the requirements of receiving a patent.

It is often said that the number of utility patents granted to big companies (if not all companies) correlates to the general level of innovation of society at the time. This is particularly interesting when the number of patents decreases or stays the same in any given year. In 2021, the number of patents that the USPTO granted went down 7% from 2020. The question now shifts to what we are all thinking: is this a normal and temporary decline in innovation that will improve in the next year or has the pandemic (or perhaps other economic, political, and social reasons) proving to be an obstacle to innovation in our society?