Business briefs

Jan. 11, 2013 @ 06:05 PM

Durham residential construction up, building permits show

DURHAM -- Building permits filed in the last six months with Durham City-County Inspections allow for 123 percent more residential units in the city and county compared to what was filed for in the same period last year.

That’s according to data released by the inspections department for July through December.

Permits have been filed with the department for that period allowing for the construction of 1,378 residential units in the city and county. That is for more than $168 million in construction costs.

That’s compared to 617 residential units in the city and county in the same period last year, for about $97.85 million in construction costs.

IBM leads in patents for 20th year in IFI ranking

MADISON, Conn. – IBM topped a ranking by a company that produces global patent databases, IFI Claims Patent Services, of companies by their number of U.S. utility patients assigned in a year.

This was IBM’s 20th consecutive year at the top of the list, according to a news release from IFI. IBM had 6,478 utility patents in 2012, up about 5 percent from the prior year.

Utility patents are the most common patent type, according to the release.

IFI reported there was a “reshuffling” in the top 50 companies this year. Google made its first appearance in the top 50, beating Apple by 15 utility patents.

Google, at No. 21, had increased its patent count by 170 percent in the year, according to the release, for the biggest gain in the top 50.

Apple was at No. 22, with an increase of 68 percent.

According to IFI, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued 253,155 utility patents in 2012, the highest annual number on record and an increase of approximately 13 percent compared with 2011.  

A total of 17 U.S. based firms made the top-50 list in 2012, the same number as in 2011.  The number of Asian firms also held steady at 26.