Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) in the first three months of this year filed the most invention patent applications it has ever filed in a quarter, retaining its place as the nation’s top patent applicant, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said last week.
In the first quarter, the world’s largest contract chipmaker filed 678 invention patents, up 426 percent quarter-on-quarter and the most among Taiwanese and foreign applicants for an eighth straight quarter, Intellectual Property Office data showed.
Among foreign applicants, US-based chip designer Qualcomm Inc placed first with 215 invention patent applications, up 46 percent from the previous quarter, the data showed.
In Taiwan, patents are categorized in three groups: invention patents; utility model patents that cover how items are used and work; and design patents.
Invention patents are deemed the most important in terms of the creation of new technical ideas.
Flat-panel maker AU Optronics Corp (友達光電) filed the second-largest number of invention patent applications at 121, up 6 percent year-on-year, followed by chip designer Realtek Semiconductor Corp (瑞昱半導體) with 112 applications, iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) with 78 and the Industrial Technology Research Institute (工研院) with 60.
Electrical product maker Nitto Denko Corp of Japan placed second among foreign companies with 186 applications, up 26 percent year-on-year, followed by South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co with 141 applications, Japanese semiconductor supplier Tokyo Electron Ltd with 135 and US semiconductor equipment supplier Applied Materials Inc with 128.
The data showed that 3,821 invention patent applications were filed by Taiwanese firms in the first quarter.
PC brand Acer Inc (宏碁) filed the most design patent applications at 21, while US-based jewelry brand Harry Winston was the top foreign firm with 42 filings.
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