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Fast Money’s 'Patented' Trade Possibilities
09 Apr 2012 EDT - CNBC.com
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*This post was updated on Tuesday April 10th. An earlier version omitted the source for the information in the tables below. It now correctly credits IFI Claims Patent Services .

Shares of AOL surged on Monday, touching their highest level in 2 years, after the company agreed to sell and license patents to Microsoft in a deal valued at $1 billion.

AOL said it plans to return a "significant portion of the sale proceeds" to shareholders.

On the news we're thinking you might be curious to learn about other companies that hold valuable patent portfolios. Although we wanted to demand patent information from every company out there - that didn't seem realistic.

However, we were able to find out which companies applied for the most patents last year.

Maulin V. Shah, managing director & founder of Envision IP crunched the numbers for us and came up with the following:Top Companies Receiving US Patents (Worldwide)

Company US Patents Granted (2011)IBM 6,180Samsung 4,894 Canon2,821Panasonic 2,559Toshiba2,483

Source: IFI Claims Patent Services Top Companies Receiving US Patents (US-based)

CompanyUS Patents Granted (2011)IBM 6,180Microsoft 2,311GE1,448Hewlett Packard 1,308Intel1,244

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