Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the world’s largest contract electronics supplier, topped Taiwan’s patent chart for the 10th year, while Japan’s Sony Corp led foreign businesses in patent applications and approvals, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
Hon Hai remained the No. 1 patent applicant among local institutions last year, with 3,968 applications, followed by the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI, 工研院) and LCD-panel maker AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), said Wang Mei-hua (王美花), director-general of the ministry’s Intellectual Property Office.
Hon Hai also led in the number of patent certificates: 1,721 for inventions, new models and designs. It was followed by Far East University in Greater Tainan and the ITRI.
“Hon Hai not only does contract work, but it also values patent research and development,” Wang said of the Apple Inc supplier.
Among foreign firms, Sony rose back to the top after a hiatus of a number of years, with 528 applications and 309 certificates.
The number of patent applications filed by Japanese institutional investors jumped 16.64 percent from a year earlier to 13,366 — 11,833 of which were inventions.
Japan is “incredibly keen” on developing patents in Taiwan, Wang said.
However, applications from the US fell 5.87 percent from a year earlier to 7,715. Wang attributed the drop to US businesses shifting their focus to China in recent years.