TSMC again tops the list of patent applications

“Cementing His Leadership”:
The chip manufacturer has registered more than 1,000 patents for the second time, announced the IP office. Acer Inc, AU Optronics and Realtek followed

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) registered the highest number of patents among all companies in the country for the fifth year in a row, said the Intellectual Property Office of the Ministry of Commerce (MOEA) on Wednesday last week.

The data compiled by the office showed that TSMC, the world’s largest contract chip maker, filed 1,096 patent applications for new inventions.

Smartphone chip designer Qualcomm Inc was named the best foreign patent applicant in Taiwan with 720 invention patent applications.

Photo: Sam Yeh, AFP

According to Taiwan’s patent law, patents are divided into three groups: invention patents, utility model patents, and design patents, with invention patents being the most important for generating technical ideas.

It was the second time TSMC had filed more than 1,000 patent applications in a year after filing 1,333 applications in 2019.

TSMC, which has a market share of more than 50 percent in the global wafer-only foundry business, endeavored to develop new processes in order to consolidate its technological lead over its competitors.

Among the domestic companies, the PC brand Acer Inc (宏 碁) took second place with 523 patent applications, including 334 invention patents, 85 utility model patents and 104 design patents.

It was followed by the flat screen manufacturer AU Optronics Corp (友達光電) with 466 applications, the IC designer Realtek Semiconductor Corp (瑞昱 半導體) for communication networks with 420 applications and the state-sponsored Industrial Technology Research Institute (工研院) with 352 applications, said the office.

Among the foreign applicants, the US semiconductor supplier Applied Materials Inc came second with 652 patent applications, including 615 invention patents, six utility model patents and 31 design patents.

Three Japanese companies followed: electronic components manufacturer Nitto Denko Corp with 461 applications, semiconductor supplier Tokyo Electron Ltd with 460 applications and memory chip manufacturer Kioxia Corp with 338 applications.

Amid a trend in technology innovation in the financial sector, eight Taiwanese banks made it into the top 100 local patent applicants in Taiwan.

These included Land Bank of Taiwan (土地 銀行) in 19th place among domestic patent applicants, Bank of Taiwan (臺灣 銀行) in 21st place, and Taiwan Cooperative Bank (合 庫 銀行) in 37th place.

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