Boeing No. 1 in patents in aerospace, defense industry

RP news wires, Noria Corporation

The Boeing Company has been identified as one of the nation's top innovators among aerospace and defense companies based on the number of new patents it has received and the strength of its patent portfolio.

The top listing resulted from a study conducted by 1790 Analytics research firm and reported in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' IEEE Spectrum magazine. The study, which was conducted in 2006, focused on 2005 data, and showed that Boeing was granted 405 patents that year, approximately 60 percent more than the second-place company, and had the strongest combined patent portfolio strength – something that 1790 Analytics calls "pipeline power" – as measured by the originality and variety of patents, as well as the rate of increase in number of patents obtained and the number of others in the industry citing those patents.

Boeing nurtures the kinds of inventions and patents in its research and development efforts that will increase the long-term strength of Boeing's patent portfolio within the industry, according to Rob Gullette, Boeing vice president of Intellectual Property Management (IPM).

Over the past several years, Boeing has stepped up efforts to identify, protect and leverage its high-value intellectual property through patents in order to sharpen its competitive edge, he said.

"Our interest is in focusing on quality patents, not just any patents," said Gullette. "Using integrated, strategic plans, we want to develop and protect new technologies that will meet or exceed key customer requirements and capabilities."

Due to the breadth of its businesses, Boeing's inventions and patents range from advancements in materials, structures and electronics to improvements in aircraft assembly, performance, operations, maintenance and flight simulation, to innovative satellite and space vehicle capabilities, to advancements in information technology and civilian and military network-centric communications.

Boeing also leverages its patents through patent sales and a variety of licensing agreements.

These and other intellectual property initiatives have driven a steady growth in Boeing IP protection, helping Boeing achieve record patent filings in recent years, as well as its identification as No. 1 among aerospace and defense companies in innovation. Boeing holds more than 7,400 active patents registered around the world.

"The results of our initiatives – as well as this study – indicate that, contrary to popular belief, large companies like Boeing do provide a rich environment in which innovation can thrive," Gullette said.

Boeing IPM helps create, protect and leverage Boeing's intellectual property as a strategic resource through the Boeing business units. This includes initiatives for protection and awareness, enforcement and audit, core business licensing, IP strategy and international patent portfolio management.

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