The number of issued US patents was down in 2015
Although several top 50 companies dropped considerably lower in the patent ranking, fewer patents isn't the only reason. Rather, companies such as Microsoft and Panasonic have spread their portfolios across multiple entities and assigned patents to newly formed holding companies.
While a company may put patents into a separate company and move that company offshore to avoid corporate taxes, Cady believes the reorganizations are to make licensing easier. Having patents in different divisions and negotiating with all those divisions separately is difficult, he noted, and working with one entity in charge of licensing would streamline the process.
Of business methods:
This year saw 2,862 fewer patents awarded for business methods, largely due to the 2014 Supreme Court decision that tightened the rules on patentable software. IBM received the most patents in this category with 549 awards.
Of IBM's lead, recall the IPBiz post: