Record number of tech patents filed in 2013

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Nearly 15,000 patent applications for computer related products and technologies were filed last year, new research reveals.

According to legal information provider Sweet and Maxwell, international patent applications jumped 19% from 11,974 in 2011 to a record high of 14,205 in 2012. The high profile patent wars between tech giants such as Apple and Samsung, Google and Microsoft, are thought to have contributed to the increase in filings. Sweet and Maxwell says the profitability of the smartphone and tablet markets has also been a real catalyst for the increase in both patent filing and litigation by a number of electronics giants over the last three years. Gwilym Roberts, a partner at specialist IP law firm Kilburn and Strode LLP, commented: "Virtually every major company in the consumer electronics market is now involved in intellectual property litigation with at least one of its competitors. Everyone involved is now arming themselves with a war chest of patents." Roberts continued: "Everybody in the hi-tech industry is picking up their patenting, but we are also seeing that litigation is slowing people down. I personally think it might be starting to get in the way of business objectives."