Love them or hate them, patents make up an important part of the business world. And Apple owns a lot of patents. In 2016, the company was granted more than 2,000 patents, placing them in the number 11 spot for most patents awarded.
With so many patents being granted every year, sometimes it can be hard to know who owns what. Often times companies take each other to court over patents, such as the infamous court battles between Samsung and Apple. Because of this, it’s hard to know which patents are the most valuable until they’ve been defended in court. In fact, often times a technology is covered by multiple patents, not just one.
To convolute matters further, there are patents and then there are trademarks. Unlike patents, trademarks are mainly used to register a term or phrase (i.e. iPhone, Red Vines, Wendy’s). However, they can also be very valuable to how a service is perceived. Apple gives unique names to many of its proprietary services (such as iMessage) to help make them unique. Use the Right Arrow to Browse 12 of Apple’s Most Iconic Patents and Recent Trademarks.