Google Nearly Doubles Patents in 2013
FILE - In this June 27, 2012 file photo, an American flag flies in front of the Supreme Court in Washington. DNA may be the building blocks of life, but can something taken from it be the building blocks of a multimillion-dollar medical monopoly? The Supreme Court will grapple with that question Monday, April 15, 2013, as it delves into an issue that could reshape medical research in the United States, in the fight against diseases like breast and ovarian cancer, and the billion-dollar medical and biotechnology business: Can human genes be patented? The court's decision could have a wide-ranging effect. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 Updated at 12:55 PM PDT
Google received 1,851 patents, a 62 percent jump from last year, and moved just ahead of its Silicon Valley rival Apple.
Google's significant rise in patents was reported by research firm IFI, and shows the tech company ranked 11 on the list of awarded patents (IBM was No. 1), according to GigaOm. Apple was No. 13, with 1775 patents awarded.
The push could be because of Google's movement towards wearable computers, including its Google Glass system which needs several patents to ensure it controls the rights to Glass.
Google is also aggressively lobbying for patent reform, likely because so many patents are full of general definitions or basic ideas that had no business being patented. Some of this had to do with the lack of technical knowledge in the U.S. Patent Office especially in the 1980s and 1990s, but it's also led to several firms buying up older, vague patents to sue for patent infringement. These firms, people or conglomerate are also known as "patent trolls."
In many ways, Google has to have as many patents as possible to protect itself and its intellectual property. Nonetheless, we also hope the tech titan will continue to fight for patent reform -- which may head to the Supreme Court.