Surprisingly, IEEE's recent patent portfolio survey ranked Microsoft as No. 1 in terms of the overall quality, and more importantly, scientific value of its patent portfolio. (See the first chart attached below.) But the ranking is not solely about the number of patents (IBM leads that list, as the The Patent Board Survey shows - see the second chart.) It's also about the utility and scientific strength of patents, which puts Microsoft in first place, according to The Patent Board:
"Second-place Microsoft is clearly on the rise with the highest Science Strength score, which rates the degree to which its patent portfolio is linked to core science," said (The Patent Board.) "In addition, Microsoft posted double-digit growth in nearly every category that we analyze, including Industry Impact, Technology Strength, Science Strength, and Research Intensity. From a quantitative perspective, Microsoft had 94 percent growth in the number of IT patents filed, versus only 30 percent growth for IBM and 16 percent growth from third-ranked Hewlett-Packard."
[ The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers or IEEE is an international non-profit, professional organization for the advancement of technology related to electricity. It is the leading and largest of any technical professional organization in the world, with more than 360,000 members in around 175 countries. ]