Which San Diego firms are the most inventive? When the 2008 year-end patent figures recently became available, we decided to find out. Xconomy is listing the top 25 patent winners in the San Diego region below, based on data provided by IFI Patent Intelligence of Wilmington, DE. Our compilation includes a few surprises.
San Diego-based Qualcomm might reasonably be expected to lead the region in patents issued in 2008—and with its longtime leadership in wireless technology, indeed that was the case. Yet the company that garnered the second-highest number of patents last year is not a major engineering research and development conglomerate like SAIC, but Callaway Golf, the Carlsbad-based maker of high-end golf clubs.
Some also might find it surprising to see a startup company in the top 10, since prosecuting patents is neither cheap nor routine—and startups are typically founded on a sole technology. Yet San Diego’s Fallbrook Technologies ranks No. 8 on our list, with 21 patents issued in 2008, which was a decline from 31 patents awarded to Fallbrook in 2007. The venture-backed startup has more than 300 patents issued or pending for its revolutionary transmission design.
In preparing the data, IFI analyzed 2008 utility patents assigned to companies by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. IBM continued to top the national list in 2008, with 4,186 patents issued, and U.S. companies accounted for 49 percent of all … Next Page »