Apple has significantly more patents in its arsenal than either Google or Taiwan-based mobile phone maker HTC, Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt notes, via this chart from Deutsche Bank’s Chris Whitmore. Apple is suing HTC for violating some 20 patents — many in reference to Google’s Android operating system, which HTC uses.
Between 2004 and 2007, when Apple was preparing the iPhone, it filed 507 patents, while Google filed just 67, and HTC filed none, according to the chart.
Filing for patents isn’t the same as being awarded a patent, but it certainly shows that Apple has been more aggressive in terms of investing and innovating in technology — or at least in seeking patent credit for its work. (And of course, many of Apple’s patent filings were for work on other products; not just mobile stuff.)
Most important for Google and HTC: As Philip writes, “they represent the ammunition each company’s lawyers will bring with them when the battle is joined.”
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