Chances are, if you’ve ever used a computer, a smart phone, a PDA, or any electronic device for that matter, you’ve probably heard of Google. According to Hoovers, “Google operates the leading Internet search engine, offering targeted search results from billions of Web pages. Results are based on a proprietary algorithm -- Google's technology for ranking Web pages is called PageRank. The company generates nearly all of its revenue through ad sales. Advertisers can deliver relevant ads targeted to search queries or Web content. The Google Network is a network of third-party customers that use Google's ad programs to deliver relevant ads to their own sites. Google subsidiaries include YouTube and DoubleClick. Founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page (CEO) each have nearly 30% voting control of the firm.” Google Inc (not including its subsidiaries) holds almost 6000 patents (not including patents not yet assigned). There are over 3000 patents that are from the US, DE, GB, FR, JP or are PCT or EPO filings. Shown below is a 2D Bar Chart of “Patent Count vs Main IPC Class”, and a 2D Bar Chart of the “Patent Count vs Year.
2D Bar Chart (Patent count vs. Main IPC class)
IPC Titles (In order of highest patent count)
IPC (2011.01) G06F
ELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
IPC (2011.01) G06Q
DATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
IPC (2011.01) H04N
PICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
IPC (2011.01) G06K
RECOGNITION OF DATA; PRESENTATION OF DATA; RECORD CARRIERS; HANDLING RECORD CARRIERS
IPC (2011.01) H04L
TRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
IPC (2011.01) G06T
IMAGE DATA PROCESSING OR GENERATION, IN GENERAL
IPC (2011.01) G01C
MEASURING DISTANCES, LEVELS OR BEARINGS; SURVEYING; NAVIGATION; GYROSCOPIC INSTRUMENTS; PHOTOGRAMMETRY OR VIDEOGRAMMETR
IPC (2011.01) H04H
IPC (2011.01) H04M
The vast majority of Google Inc’s patents fall under IPC G06F (Electric Digital Data Processing).
2D Bar Chart (Patent count vs. Year)
As can be seen from the Bar Chart above, although Google had patents dating back years ago, the numbers really don’t start increasing until the mid-2000's and have steadily risen since then. While they do not yet equal the prolific volume of Apple, they certainly do compare favorably to HTC. So -- is Google a data/search company or a telecomm/electronics company? Hmmm... That's a discussion for another day.