Death to Patent Trolls? Silicon Valley Fights Back

January 21st, 2015

Silicon Valley has a new way to fight back non-practicing entities (NPEs): death squads.

Don’t worry, that’s not literal. That’s the nickname for the Patent Trial and Appeals Board, a far more civilized way technology companies are figuratively lining up accused “patent trolls” for execution.

According to the SF Gate, the Board, which was created by Congress in 2011  and is made up of administrative patent judges, has eliminated 78 percent of NPE claims from September 2012 to March 2013.

“It’s not surprising a lot of the big tech companiesare using the board,” Peter Lee, a professor of law at UC Davis, told the Gate. “They are the ones most hurt by bad patents.”

It’s a huge development for tech companies, because it offers a quicker and more cost-effective way to resolve intellectual property disputes than going to court. NPEs can not only act as a drain on financial resources, but have the ability to draw a company’s time and energy away from their primary objection: innovation. The Patent Trial and Appeals Board seems to be working just as intended, and consumers may reap the reward with tech companies more focused  than ever on creating more engaging products.

Laura Gaze, Senior Marketing Manager, IP Solutions Patents , , ,

Thomson Reuters Analysis Finds Automotive Industry Doubling Down on Fuel Economy Innovation

January 20th, 2015

AutomotiveToday, we’ve released the results of our study of the global automobile industry’s recent patent activity, which details a massive commitment from carmakers to new propulsion technology, which jumped from fewer than 2,000 patents filed in 2009 to nearly 12,000 by July 2014.

With the clock ticking towards Model Year 2025 – where U.S. automakers’ fleets will be required by law to boast an average fuel efficiency of 54.5 miles per gallon – it seems the industry is working diligently to comply. The 2012 Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) mandate  has set the agenda for the next decade of car manufacturing, and it’s all about fuel efficiency.

Following are among the key findings in the report:

  • Propulsion Patents Explode: According to analysis of patent data from 2009 through July 2014, activity in propulsion technology grew from fewer than 2,000 patents to nearly 12,000: more than any other technology area in the automotive industry. It was also the only area of patents to reflect a year-over-year growth in the five-year span.
  • Toyota, Japan Lead the Way: With over 7,000 patent assignments to the company during the period covered, Toyota is the auto world’s top innovator from a patent perspective. The company is one of five Japanese carmakers (Honda, Denso, Seiko Epson, Mitsubishi) in the top ten, the most of any country. In contrast, the United States has one representative in the top 10 assignees, General Motors, is seventh on the list, with short of 3,000 patents.
  • Hyundai Sets Blistering Pace: The one Korean automaker in the top ten, Hyundai, has burst onto the patenting scene.  The company has earned the distinction as the fastest growing patentee, climbing from a low point of under 500 in 2010. Since then it is on a remarkable sprint toward the top, resulting in nearly 1,200 patent filings in 2013, enough to rank them third on the most-assigned list.
  • ‘Connected’ Vehicle Technology Gains Momentum: After stealing the stage at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, the field of telematics, which enables Wi-Fi-style communications in vehicles and powers the sensors that enable self-driving vehicles, has made a prominent showing in the Thomson Reuters Automotive Industry report.  Companies as diverse as General Motors, LG and United Parcel Service are actively patenting in the field.
  • Safety Patents Grow Modestly: Patent activity in the four remaining auto categories (navigation, handling, safety and security, and entertainment) stayed flat or dipped, with safety and security being the lone exception. Less than 1,000 patents were filed in 2009 in the safety and security classification, a number that grew to roughly 2,500 in 2013.

To read the full report, visit:

Laura Gaze, Senior Marketing Manager, IP Solutions Patents , , , , , , ,

Steady Growth of Innovation in India

December 16th, 2014

Our research into patent activity around the world identifies hotspots of innovation and India is no exception.

That is why for the second consecutive year, Thomson Reuters has produced the 2014 State of Innovation India report and awarded prizes to the most innovative companies in the country.

The study showcases twelve leading sectors and analyzes the innovation in each based on patent activity. Additionally, Thomson Reuters presented the India Innovation Awards to recognize innovation and entrepreneurship in India.

Key findings from this year’s report include:

  • Eight of the Top 10 patent filers in India are Indian organizations. Among the top 10 patent filers in India, eight of these are Indian organizations, Tata Consultancy, CSIR, Larsen & Toubro, Crompton Greaves, Infosys, Tata Motors, TVS Motor, Bharat Heavy Electricals. The two non-Indian top filers are Robert Bosch and Samsung India.

  • Computing & Control leads the innovation activity drawing level with pharmaceutical sector. The largest individual sector for innovation in India is Computing & Control, followed closely by Pharmaceuticals. This is the first time Computing & Control has been in the lead.
  • High-tech, mechanical engineering sectors displace the traditional chemical and agricultural. New sectors such as Electric Power Engineering, Building & Construction, Semiconductors & Electronic Components, Lighting & Heating and Engines, and Pumps & Compressors have increased innovation activity year over year.

Download the full report here.

State of Innovation India 2014 - Thomson Reuters

Arvind Pachhapur, Country Head IP & Science, Thomson Reuters India Innovation

China Dominates Global Innovation Scene

December 9th, 2014

China+IQWhat has long been predicted has now become a reality: China is leading the world in innovation. Today, we released our report, Chinese Corporate Trends and Globalization for IP. It finds that China’s recent run of superlatives do not stop at their economic growth. The country’s patent filings have dwarfed the rest of the world, and are sending them full steam ahead into the future.

Our research identifies not only where China’s patent output has grown, but where it will go next, identifying burgeoning areas of innovation the Chinese plan to capitalize on as they attempt to grown their filings to 2 million annually.

Key points outlined in the paper include:

  • China Becomes the Undisputed Patent Leader: China continues to overshadow other countries in published patent applications, publishing 629,612 patents in 2013, over 200,000 more than the U.S. This push is driven by a five-year plan in which the country has set out to reach two million applications for patents for inventions, utility models and designs by 2015.
  • Pharma Driving Patenting Boom, But Quality of IP is Suspect: China has nearly 80 percent of world share in patents for alkaloid/plant extracts, and around 60 percent of global share of pharmaceutical activity, general patents. However, these filings are held by thousands of individual inventors with a handful of patents each, rather than portfolios maintained by universities or corporate entities that would be seen stateside. As a result, the quality of the IP is likely to be unstable.
  • Domestic Innovation on the Rise, Foreign Filing Fails to Keep Up: Overall, 80 percent of China’s patents were filed domestically in 2013, leaving China’s foreign growth flat. The number of inventions filed abroad from China have grown from 13,005 in 2008 to 33,222 in 2013, however overall patenting has grown from 239,663 in 2008 to 629,612 in 2013, therefore the proportion has remained the same a 5.3%.
  • Burgeoning Chinese Multinationals: While China as a whole is doing substantially less international patent filing than other regions of the world, a few leaders have emerged in the global patent landscape, including Huawei, ZTE Corp, Shenzhen Huaxing Optoelectronic, Alibaba Group, BOE Technology Group, Lenovo, Tencent, BYD, SMIC and Sany.
  • Planning the Next Five Years: The Chinese National Patent Development Strategy highlights the country’s plans through 2020, highlighting seven strategic industries positioned for growth: biotechnology, alternative energy, clean energy vehicles, energy conservation, high-end equipment manufacturing, broadband infrastructure, and high-end semiconductors.

To read the full report, click here.

Laura Gaze, Senior Marketing Manager, IP Solutions Patents , , , , ,

Corporate Opportunity Abounds in Open Data

December 9th, 2014

The modern use of Open Data – or data that is available to everyone – can be traced to holding public services accountable, improving efficiency, and creating social and economic value. But how can companies harness these assets to gain a competitive advantage?

In the latest edition of Thomson Reuters Exchange, Sir Nigel Shadbolt, founder of the Open Data Institute, expounds on the modern utilization of Open Data. He references examples like the 2010 launch of the United Kingdom’s, and points to the opportunity that it presents for corporate entities who embrace its principals.

“In a world of abundant data, where we see significant amounts being made freely available – or available at marginal cost – there is a clear business challenge. The question is what sort of data provider can a business become? The world wants high-quality data with a good provenance. Those companies that can establish themselves as data authorities in this environment will flourish.”

Being a data provider and a data resource are two very different things.

With the challenges presented by the sheer volume Open Data, a gap exists for those who can develop the skills needed to sift through the data sets and derive value that cuts to the heart of the needs of individuals and businesses alike.

If companies are willing to step up and fill this hole by becoming an authority and providing value that can accompany Open Data, their efforts stand to pay huge dividends.

Laura Gaze, Senior Marketing Manager, IP Solutions Thomson Reuters , , , , ,

The Challenge and Thrill of Utilizing Big Data

December 8th, 2014

A stunning 90 percent of the world’s data has been generated in the last two years, while the amount of technical information is doubling every two years.  In 2014, human knowledge doubles every 13 months. And it is projected that, in 2020, it will double every 12 hours.

So it’s easy to see that, without the right avenues to share and make information both easily accessible and digestible, professionals could be lost in this sea of Big Data.

In the latest edition of Thomson Reuters Exchange, Tim Baker Global Head of Content Strategy & Innovation and Andrew Fletcher Senior Manager, Data Innovation Lab address how Big Data can often be unwieldy, and must be approached in an open, but effective way to best harness all it has to offer.

“Data can be used for many purposes,” they say.  “But to reap the rewards […] we must be prepared to balance caution with a willingness to explore its incredible potential [...] This brings opportunities and companies that adapt fastest to the ever-changing landscape will have opportunities to grab market share.”

That’s why we believe that the next frontier in truly harnessing Big Data in the research field is to help both researchers and their support infrastructures better locate those signals amidst the noise, and make sense of an ever-escalating flow of information and technology.

The challenge for today’s research professionals is to continually find new ways to look holistically at a research portfolio to discover, protect, and commercialize breakthrough ideas. Here at Thomson Reuters, we’re trying to unlock new ways to achieve that very goal.

Laura Gaze, Senior Marketing Manager, IP Solutions Thomson Reuters , ,

China Leads the Way to Ignite E-Cigarette Market

November 26th, 2014

Bob StembridgeBob Stembridge, Analyst, IP Solutions: Electronic cigarettes are on fire, figuratively speaking of course. That’s because, as the product that has helped many kick their traditional nicotine habit has increased in popularity, manufactures are frantically filing for new avenues to capitalize on this growing market, much of which is located in China.

Recently we conducted research into this burgeoning market, which is featured here in a Reuters news story. It shows that China, which has over 300 million smokers, including half the male population of the country, is the front runner in the manufacturing and development of e-cigarette technology. Of more than 2,000 e-cigarette inventions we tracked, 64 percent originate in China.

china ecig

This boom comes in spite of the product’s modest beginnings. The original technology, involving battery-powered heating systems that vaporize nicotine-laced liquid, is credited to Hon Lik in 2003. Two years later,  just eight e-cigarette inventions were described in published patents. But by last year, there were over 500 inventions, and this year so far? Sixty hundred and fifty. Lik’s invention is now estimated to be worth $3.5 billion.

china ecig2

China may be the leader in this space, but it isn’t the only country capitalizing on this market. The United States owns 14 percent of the world’s e-cigarette inventions, followed by South Korea with 9 percent. Those numbers are dwarfed, though, by China’s mass output.

At the heart of the research used to gain insight into the e-cigarette market is the Derwent World Patent Index, the world’ most trusted source of patent information.

For more information, visit

Bob Stembridge, Customer Relations Manager, Thomson Reuters Patents , , ,

Too Big to Innovate?

November 25th, 2014

For companies to get bigger they have to think small.

According to Techonomy founder and CEO David Kirkpatrick, executives around the globe are finding that new ideas and innovations that can generate the most growth are likeliest to emerge in organizations like small start-ups, putting one-time power brands in the position to alter their ways of doing business.

“The $52-billion-a-year health insurer Aetna, for example, has doubled its stock price in the last two years even as its CEO Mark Bertolini has emphasized breaking the company down into smaller units. ‘We’re 163 years old,’ said Bertolini at last year’s Techonomy conference in Arizona, discussing the impact of tech on his business. ‘Is that a plus or minus?’ a moderator asked him. ‘That’s a minus,’ he replied. ‘Some say we have actuaries who’ve been around 163 years. So it’s difficult moving the model. You have to create separate organizations inside the company that are driving these technologies.’ “

Laura GazeLaura Gaze, Director, IP Solutions: It seems counterintuitive, but there is a lot to glean from Kirkpatrick’s insight. Large companies often bear the burden of many hurdles to clear, and as a result, ideas that could truly innovate often get muddied down before they’re able to grab hold. Large companies have the resources that start-ups don’t, and they should utilize these advantages to breed a culture that encourages innovative thinking. Over the past five years, we’ve seen many corporate American mainstays perish simply because they weren’t able to produce this type of culture. It might just be the time for small thinking.

Laura Gaze, Senior Marketing Manager, IP Solutions Innovation , ,

Celebrating 15 Years of Thomson Reuters and Williams Partnership

November 24th, 2014

Roughly 500 million people around the globe watch Formula One racing every year, and Thomson Reuters is proud to be a part of that huge fan base.

At the British Grand Prix in July, we celebrated a successful 15-year partnership between Thomson Reuters and Williams Martini Racing, one of F1’s premiere teams.

Laura GazeLaura Gaze, Director, IP Solutions: The definition of speed has certainly changed since our partnership was originally brokered in 2000. Innovation across the automotive industry has equipped Formula One drivers with some of the most impressive technologies known to man, and the evolution of the Thomson Reuters family in that time has been just as profound. We are always intrigued to see where the future will lead us, as we continue down exciting new roads with our corporate partners across all of our businesses, and we’re proud that our brand has enjoyed such close success with another industry leader.

Laura Gaze, Senior Marketing Manager, IP Solutions Innovation , ,

Thomson Reuters Names 2014 Top 100 Global Innovators

November 6th, 2014

Lots of CEOs talk about innovation, but which companies are putting their money where their mouths are when it comes to driving real innovation? Today, the IP & Science business of Thomson Reuters answered that question with the release of its fourth annual Top 100 Global Innovators list.

The annual study, which is the only purely quantitative ranking of innovation of its kind, recognizes the 100 most innovative organizations globally based on a series of financial and patent-related metrics.

Beyond the list itself, which includes some names you’d expect (Apple, IBM, Google, IBM, Samsung) and some surprises (Blackberry, Huawei, NGK Spark Plug), the Top 100 Innovators report also contains a detailed analysis of company financials, the influence of governmental policies and industry trends.

Following are some of the key findings:

Japan Takes the Lead Among Global Innovators; U.S. Declines 27% Year-Over-Year: Asia is home to the largest share of Top 100 innovators for the first time this year, with 46 of the 100 companies hailing from that region. Of these, 39 are based in Japan, 4 in South Korea, 2 from Taiwan and, for the first time, a Chinese company (Huawei) has made the list. North America follows with 36, down from 46 last year, with 35 companies domiciled in the US and 1 in Canada. Europe contributed 18 honorees, with the largest representation coming from France (7), Switzerland (5) and Germany (4). The United Kingdom is noticeably absent from the Top 100 list again this year, despite aggressive tax legislation in the country designed to spur new innovation.

Top Innovators Doubled Annual Revenue Growth Rate of S&P 500: Thomson Reuters Top 100 Global Innovators outperformed the S&P 500 for the fourth consecutive year, achieving year-over-year market cap weighted revenue growth of 12.6 percent, roughly double the 6.85 percent annual revenue growth generated by S&P 500 companies. The 2014 Top 100 Global Innovators also generated US $3.69 trillion in revenue last year. And, they had an increase in R&D investment of more than double their NASDAQ counterparts; the Top 100 increased R&D spend by 16.9 percent, whereas NASDAQ’s R&D investment jumped by 8.18 percent and S&P 500 by only 3.97 percent.

R&D Spending Growth Accelerates: The 100 organizations in the study spent a combined U.S. $208 trillion on R&D in 2013, the group outspent the constituents of S&P 500 at a rate of 4:1. On a year-over-year basis, Top 100 Global Innovators increased their total R&D spending by nearly 17 percent.

Smartphone Patent Wars Continue to Drive New Innovation: The intense competition in the smartphone space is on clear display in this year’s Top 100 Global Innovators list, with the major players in the smartphone patent wars present: Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, Google and BlackBerry.

Semiconductor Firms Still Leading the Chase: The Semiconductor and Electronic Components industry continued to lead all other industry sectors in 2014, with 21 representative companies, a 9 percent decrease from the previous year, but still a 50 percent increase since the Top 100 program’s inception, when there were just 14 semiconductor companies on the list. Computer hardware was the next most prolific industry, with 13 companies, up 18% over the previous year. The Industrial sector contributed 8 companies to the Top 100 list, displacing the Automotive sector, which contributed 6 companies this year, down from 8 last year.

Pharma Continues to Increase Presence in Top 100: For the second year in a row, a growing number of pharmaceutical companies, including Abbott Laboratories, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis and Roche, have cemented their presence on the Top 100 list by virtue of their strong global patent portfolios. This comes despite the Top 100 methodology favoring fast-moving, hyper-competitive industries such as semiconductors/electronic components and computer hardware, as opposed to pharma, which tends to have longer R&D cycles.

For more information and to download the full report, visit

To view the full Top 100 Innovators graphic, see blow, or click here.

100 info

Laura Gaze, Senior Marketing Manager, IP Solutions Innovation, Patents , , ,