Information security is the fastest-growing technology in the U.S.

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

The technological landscape has changed tremendously in the last five years. Moreover, the numbers indeed reflect the fact that even more companies are focusing on innovation.

In 2010, the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued 108,000 utility patents. This number increased to 141,000 in just five years — a tremendous 30 percent growth! Let’s take a look at the technologies that benefited the most from this spurt.

Here are the top five:

Now, it is not exactly easy to say for certain which of these is growing the fastest. If we take solely the raw numbers into account, the increase in the number of drug-related patents tops the list. However, we should note that almost every technology class showed growth over this period. Therefore, it makes sense to look at the increase in the total number over the baseline (which is at 30 percent, as noted before).

When using this metric, the most extraordinary numbers are observed for Information Security patents, followed by drug-related patents and vehicle-oriented data processing technologies.

That was the big picture. Here’s the drilldown of the entire Information Security technology class by patent assignees:

We see that IBM, the very same company that receives the largest number of patents overall in the U.S., tops the list in this particular technology class as well. Despite the rapid growth demonstrated by Symantec, Intel and Google, they are still far from catching up with IBM. IBM’s closest competitor is Microsoft, but the number of patents it receives annually still doesn’t even reach 50 percent of the number issued to IBM.

To illustrate the most common types of technologies patented, here’s a tag cloud based on the abstracts of patents in the category:

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It was created using feature extraction methods based on relative term frequencies (compared to the entire publicly available patent corpus). The visualization itself was generated using the website.


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About Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Andrey Kamenov is a data scientist working for Advameg Inc. His background includes teaching statistics, stochastic processes and financial mathematics in Moscow State University and working for a hedge fund. His academic interests range from statistical data analysis to optimal stopping theory. Andrey also enjoys his hobbies of photography, reading and powerlifting.

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