Computers and peripherals had more than twice the amount of new patents than any other technological category in 2009, according to Thomson Reuter’s 2009 Innovation Report, based on information from the Thomson Reuters Derwent World Patents Index. There were 226,293 patents awarded for computers and peripherals, 95,106 for semiconductors and 90,867 for telecommunications in 2009. Computers and peripherals accounted for 29 percent of all new patents last year, while semiconductors and telecommunications each represented 12 percent of 2009’s inventions.

Within the computers and peripherals category, the vast majority of new patents were for – surprise – computers (193,445 new patents). Other leading categories were other peripherals (29,800), printers (25,108), smartmedia (11,602), screens (6,684) and scanners (4,947).

For semiconductors, the leading categories were semiconductor materials and processes (49,255), memories, film and hybrid circuits (35,287), discreet devices (32,068) and integrated circuits (9,148).

Within the telecommunications category, mobile lead with 44,714 new patents in 2009, followed by telephone subscriber equipment (34,665), data transmission networks (32,922), multiplex and multiple-access information transmission systems (15,191), digital information transmissions systems (13,886), telephone exchange systems (9,227), telephone communications systems and installations (8,549), and telemetry and telecontrol (8,037).

By Mark Alvarez