Telephones have evolved from tools that just make calls to mobile instruments that entertain, inform and help users complete myriad transactions. Medical products have become smart. “And people no longer buy cars for horsepower but for their electronics,” said James Malackowski, CEO of Ocean Tomo LLC.
For this reason, he said, automakers and suppliers are consolidating their technologies and outnumbering life science companies on this year’s Eureka Index, Crain’s annual look at the top 25 most innovative companies. Crain’s worked with Ocean Tomo, a Chicago-based intellectual property valuation firm, to rank 2015 patent portfolios for companies in Southeast Michigan.
Rankings are based on patent quality, the projected ability to bring the patents to market, and whether patent owners keep their patents or make them public domain. In 2015, there were 4,182 patent awards in Southeast Michigan, which for this report includes Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Livingston, St. Clair and Genesee counties, up from 3,957 in 2014. Total patent awards in the U.S. last year dropped slightly to 325,979 from 326,032 in 2014.
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Five patent holders worth noting:
Bosch hits stride with vehicle diagnostic toolFrom automotive to augmented reality, Bosch is focusing on technology management.
Henry Ford innovations vary from drug therapy to gownsVersion 17 of the original hospital gown brings several advancements.
Ford’s inventiveness spreads inside, outside auto industryThe automaker submitted about 6,000 new inventions for consideration last year, some of which had nothing to do with cars.
Denso looks at whole picture for safety, thermal, interface systemsDenso is staking out real estate, from a patent perspective, in the areas of active safety, advanced thermal systems, economist drive, human-machine interface and connectivity.
UM sees innovations from receivers to drug therapiesIn the past five years, startups based on their inventions have raised more than $700 million in funding.
GM’s plan for patents to invent, commercialize and repeatBig change is coming to the auto industry, and soon.
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