ISSAQUAH, Wash., April 19 (UPI) -- Patents related to mobile devices have soared in the past 10 years in the United States and Europe, consulting firm Chetan Sharma said Thursday.
In the United States, patents related to mobile electronics rose 390 percent in the past 10 years. In Europe, they have risen 173 percent, the firm said.
In a report titled, "Mobile Patents Landscape," the firm said there have been two major shifts in intellectual property trends in the past two decades.
One major shift reflects the modern culture of mobile phones which "stay attached to us almost 24 hours a day," the report said.
"To say that the mobile devices have become the remote control of our lives would be an understatement," said the report.
The study found "mobile has become a key enabler for all technologies." In the first three months of 2012, over 21 percent of patents granted in the United States were related to mobile devises.
The second significant shift is the increase of foreign patent applications.
Between 1996 and 2010, China's share of the grants has leaped from 0.8 percent to 15 percent, putting it third behind Japan and the United States.
In 2011, there were over 535,000 applications fielded by the U.S. Patent Office, a jump of 54 percent from a decade ago.
Patents granted in the United States grew 35 percent in the same 10 years.