By Houston Business Journal

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued an all-time high of 219,614 utility patents in 2010, and 1,700 of those patents were to companies in the Houston area, according to IFI Claims Patent Services.

Sugar Land-based Schlumberger Technology Corp., a unit of Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB), had the highest among its Houston counterparts with 465 total patents issued, followed by Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) with 362 patents.

Meanwhile, the highest ranking Texas company was Dallas-based Texas Instruments Inc. which was issued 829 patents.

Utility patents are the most common type of patents, filed as a means of protecting intellectual property and technological innovation.

Receiving the most U.S. patents in 2010 was International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) with 5,896 patents, followed by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea) with 4,551, and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) at 3,094 patents.

Overall, the number of 2010 patents awarded was 31 percent higher than 2009.

⿿The tremendous increase in patent issues in 2010 suggests that so far the economy doesn⿿t appear to have slowed patent flow significantly in the U.S.,⿝ Darlene Slaughter, general manager of IFI, said in a statement.

Wilmington, Del.-based IFI is a division of Fairview Research, and produces value-added U.S. patent databases and indexing services. The company offers patent information on more than 2,000 companies.

Copyright 2011 American City Business Journals

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