Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, remained No. 1 in the nation in terms of patent applications last quarter, the Intellectual Property Office said.
TSMC filed 303 patent applications during the July-to-September period, up 35 percent from a year earlier, the office said.
Flat-panel maker AU Optronics Corp (友達光電) was second among domestic companies with 107 applications in the three-month period, up 8 percent from a year earlier.
IC designer MediaTek Inc (聯發科) was third with 83, down 14 percent from a year earlier, ahead of PC brand Acer Inc (宏碁) with 82 and the government-sponsored Industrial Technology Research Institute (工研院) with 64.
Realtek Semiconductor Corp (瑞昱), another IC designer, was sixth with 58 applications, followed by iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) with 51, smartphone brand HTC Corp (宏達電) with 43, contract notebook computer maker Quanta Computer Inc (廣達) with 36 and contract electronics maker Wistron Corp (緯創) with 35.
US-based chip designer Qualcomm Technologies Inc had the most applications among foreign firms with 234, up 73 percent from a year earlier.
Alibaba Group Services Ltd (阿里巴巴集團服務) was second among foreign companies, filing 132 applications, down 13 percent year-on-year.
Next in line were Japanese memorychip supplier Toshiba Memory Corp with 115 and US-based semiconductor production equipment supplier Applied Materials Inc with 108.
In the third quarter, 11,746 patent applications were filed, up 1 percent from a year earlier, making it the seventh consecutive quarter of year-on-year growth, the data showed.
Patents are categorized into three groups: invention patents, utility model patents and design patents, with invention patents the most important in terms of the creation of technical ideas.
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