American innovation?

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 12, 2006

The USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) has released a list of the top 10 companies receiving the most US patents for 2005. In announcing the list, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property Jon Dudas had this to say (emphasis mine):

America’s technological and economic strength is the result of its tremendous ingenuity. The USPTO has taken and will continue to take aggressive steps that will enhance quality and improve productivity to ensure that U.S. intellectual property protection remains the best in the world, protecting American innovation and sustaining economic growth.

The only problem is, 6 out of the 10 companies on the list are non-US companies: Canon, Matsushita, Samsung, Hitachi, Toshiba, and Fujitsu. Just whose innovation is the USPTO protecting here? Mr. Dudas? (thx, cathy)