Taipei, Feb. 10 (CNA) Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world's largest contract chipmaker, retained its position as the No. 1 patent applicant in Taiwan in 2017, according to the Intellectual Property Office under the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
In terms of foreign companies, the office said, Alibaba Group Services Ltd., a subsidiary of the Chinese e-commerce giant ranked as the top foreign patent applicant in Taiwan last year, data compiled by the office showed.
In 2017, TSMC filed a total of 937 patent applications, the highest annual total for the company. It was the second consecutive year the chipmaker has taken the title, the data indicated.
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the world's largest contract electronics maker and a major iPhone assembler for Apple Inc. was the second place domestic firm with 485 applications, the office said.
The government-sponsored Industrial Technology Research Institute was the third largest patent applicant with 451 applications in 2017, ahead of PC vendor Acer Corp. with 380 and flat panel maker AU Optronics Corp. with 357, the office added.
Integrated circuit designer MediaTek Inc. came in sixth after filing 349 patent applications last year, followed by bubble jet printer equipment provider MicroJet Technology Co. with 251. Far East University, the only university in the top 10, with 205, China Steel Corp. with 203, and Chunghwa Telecom Co. with 172, according to the office.
In 2017, Alibaba filed 762 patent applications with the office to become the largest foreign applicant in Taiwan, ahead of U.S-based smartphone chip designer Qualcomm Inc. with 604, semiconductor production equipment supplier Applied Materials Inc. with 493, U.S. IC giant Intel Corp. with 429, and Japan-based Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co. with 352, the office said.
The office said it received 73,791 patent applications in 2017, up 2 percent from th previous year, reversing a three year drop in applications.
Source: Focus Taiwan