Apple owns the largest number of patents than any other consumer electronics company.
According to the Patent Scorecard report released by IEEE, Apple was ranked 14th in terms of patent ownership in 2009, but surged to number one in 2010, ahead of tech and innovation behemoths like Hitachi, Canon, Sony, and Panasonic.
The report states that Apple, which is the most valuable tech company in the world, received a total of 566 utility patents from the US PTO. By contrast, the company was granted merely 110 patents back in 2006. The report reveals that Apple has a patent growth index of 1.89 percent, higher than any other company.
The number of patents granted to Apple in 2010 does not include patents acquired in a consortium, but were those issued directly to the company or its subsidiaries.
Apple was followed by Hitachi, which received 2924 patents in 2010, and Panasonic, which received 3132 patents.
Meanwhile, in the communications and Internet department, Yahoo led the way with 292 patents issued in 2010 followed by Google with 283 patents, and wireless carrier Verizon with 212 patents.