With 3,013 patents in its portfolio, Apple would seem to have a significant advantage
In the context of Apple vs. HTC (and by proxy, Google), the bar chart at right could prove pretty important.
Buried on page 5 of a note to clients issued Sunday by Deutsche Bank’s Chris Whitmore, it compares the number of patents filed over the years by Apple, Google and HTC.
It turns out Apple’s AAPL patent department has been busy, especially in the past few years; the company has amassed a total portfolio of more than 3,000 patents. Google GOOG , by contrast, has been issued 316 and HTC only 58. Writes Whitmore:
To be sure, not all patents are equal, and not all these Apple patents were iPhone-related. But the numbers are suggestive because they represent the ammunition each company’s lawyers will bring with them when the battle is joined.
Apple seems to be heavily armed, Google less so and HTC even less.
The cases could take years to be resolved, but if Apple wins, it will have effectively established the validity of its portfolio. Meanwhile, Whitmore writes:
“While litigation appears to be an increasingly common cost of doing business,” he concludes, “we view Apple’s willingness to aggressively defend its patent portfolio favorably and welcome the defense of its IP.”
[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]