US sees surge in mobile patents

One-quarter of US patents expected to be related to mobile in 2013
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The number of mobile technology patents granted in the United States has soared 591 percent over the past decade, according to a recent study by mobile analyst Chetan Sharma.

This year, Sharma expects that one-quarter of all patents granted in the U.S. will be "mobile related."

In Europe, the number of mobile patents granted increased 76 percent over the past decade, and Sharma expects 10 percent of patents to be "mobile related" in 2013.

Samsung was the overall mobile patent leader last year, based on patents granted in the U.S. and Europe. IBM (NYSE: IBM) came in second, Sony third, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) fourth and RIM (NASDAQ: BBRY), now BlackBerry, fifth. Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) Motorola dropped out of the top 10.

Despite being an aggressive patent litigant, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) was not in the top 10 in terms of mobile patents. However, if only mobile platform players are examined, Apple would be in seventh place in terms of mobile patents.

Computer graphics and processing patents increased 413 percent over the last decade, spurred by user interface, touch and graphics intellectual property the report found. Computer graphics processing is the dominant mobile patent category for Sony and Apple.

"Mobile will continue to be the growth engine of the knowledge economy and the companies who understand the value of the intellectual property will continue to protect and benefit from their investments for years to come," the report concluded.

For more:
- check out Sharma's report

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