The patent industry includes hundreds of patent classes and thousands of subclasses. The most prominent classes typically receive the most patent grants each year. These classes indicate where the market focus is and which companies are thriving in those areas. These classes often show big, aggressive companies as patent holders.
According to ipAnalytx, in 2014, Class 370 – Multiplex Communications is listed as the most active class with 11,664 patent applications, 24,145 patent transactions, and 12,004 patent grants. This class received the most patent grants in 2014 out of all classes, with more than 2,400 patents grants than the previous year. It also had an increase of more than 1,200 patent applications from the previous year. Class 257 – Active Solid-State Devices (E.g., Transistors, Solid-State Diodes) received the most patent applications with 14,109, which is nearly 1,900 more than the previous year.
Among these top classes are subclasses that specify in more detail the types of granted patents and patent applications. The following five subclasses represent the top 2014 applications of Class 257:
1. 040000 – Organic Semiconductor Material with 1,835 patent applications, which nearly doubled from the previous year.
2. 098000 – With Reflector, Opaque Mask, Or Optical Element with 556 applications.
3. 043000 – Semiconductor Is An Oxide Of a Metal Or Copper Sulfide with 535 applications.
4. 774000 – Via (Interconnection Hole) Shape with 432 applications.
5. 076000 – Specified Wide Band Gap (1.5ev) Semiconductor Material Other Than Gaasp Or Gaalas with 398 applications
The following five subclasses represent the top 2014 grants of Class 370:
1. 329000 – Channel Assignment with 1,343 issued patents.
2. 252000 – Determination of Communication Parameters with 940 issued patents.
3. 328000 – Having a Plurality of Contiguous Regions Served by Respective Fixed Stations with 828 issued patents.
4. 331000 – Hand-Off Control with 502 issued patents.
5. 338000 – Contiguous Regions Interconnected by a Local Area Network with 472 issued patents.
These subclasses include a large variety of invention titles that involve ways to effectively enhance communication methods and daily lifestyles. These inventions can include mobile communication devices and services, semiconductors, lighting, video displays, VoIP networks, WiFi, and much more.