As one of the most famous online sales companies in the world, Amazon has a particular focus on innovation and development of new technologies. Investing in new methods of transporting and delivering orders, especially through drones, is only one example of Amazon's innovative plans in recent years. Obviously, protecting these innovations will require extensive patent related activity. Based on released data, the Amazon portfolio of patents has experienced a growth of 1,000 percent, from around 1,000 active patents in 2010 to around 10,000 patents in July 2019. This progressive increase in the number of patents shows that Amazon's research and development investment in various fields and the advent of developing and commercializing emerging technologies is growing steadily.
According to PatentSight’s new investigation, Amazon's annual growth rate has been around 35% from 2010 to 2019 covering a wide range of technologies such as drone technology, cloud processing, machine learning, and even financial payment technologies, none of which seem to be initially related to an online retailer. Amazon's portfolio has therefore turned into one of the most interesting examples of patent registration.
Interestingly enough, the largest share of these patents is dedicated to cloud computing, in particular, the Amazon Web Services or "AWS". The cloud services providing services to create and launch any kind of cloud-based software, grew by 41 percent in the last quarter from the previous year, bringing about $ 7.6 billion in revenue for Amazon. Amazon's ongoing innovations in order delivery, considered to be the priorities of Amazon's innovation, are mostly based on drones. Despite the smaller volume of these patents, they have a very competitive impact especially in competition with Walmart.
Another interesting point about Amazon's patents portfolio is extensive citation to patents filed by Microsoft, IBM and Alphabet (parent company of Google). The three companies have received 39, 32 and 28 percent of citations from all Amazon's patents respectively.
Amazon can also be considered as an extreme example of focusing on the US market and protecting inventions and innovations in the country. While only 60% of active patents by American companies are uniquely filed inside the United States, over 86% of Amazon’s patents are active only in the US. This can be attributed to the relatively unusual Amazon safeguard strategy that focuses solely on the US market. Of all Amazon-owned patents, 99 percent are active, with only 86 percent of all patents active in the US market.