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Exploring the Power of Patents as Nielsen Named One of the Top 200 Patent Recipients

3 minute read | August 2017

With 169 U.S. patents granted in 2016, the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) recently recognized Nielsen on its annual list of the top U.S. patent recipients. This is our third year ranking on the list, and we’ve advanced to number 199 (up from 244 in 2015).

“In just the last nine years, we’ve grown our U.S. patent holdings by more than nine times, and we are clearly the undisputed leader in patent holdings within our core areas of business—market and audience measurement and reporting,” said Gene Potkay, senior vice president, intellectual property, Nielsen. “Innovation has never been more important, and Nielsen has never been more innovative.”

Since we first ranked on the IPO’s list in 2014, our invention pipeline—patent filings and U.S. patents granted—has grown in both numbers and quality year over year and is much deeper than other competitive players in the industry. To date, Nielsen holds more than 912 granted U.S. patents, has another 500-plus U.S. applications pending and boasts more than 2,850 patents and pending applications globally.

For more than 90 years, Nielsen has delivered the currency for reliable market and audience measurement all over the world. And innovation has played an important role in our ability to to help more than 16,000 leading companies around the world transform markets, create culture, develop and grow economies and enhance consumers’ everyday lives.

As we move headlong into an era of unprecedented media fragmentation, the competition will be fierce to serve new market demands with new, innovative approaches to measurement and ratings. Patents are especially important for a market-leading business like Nielsen, where an increasing number of companies are vying for the same market share. They deter copying and provide freedom to design and sell products.

Beyond patents, our innovation strategy is multifaceted. We’ve pursued several key acquisitions over the last few years to bring new ideas and tech into the company. In addition, we’ve invested in 20 start up companies, partnered with fascinating and cutting-edge companies around the world, and worked with the best universities.

This recognition from the IPO is one of several important innovation milestones for Nielsen so far this year. We were also recently named one of the world’s most innovative companies by Forbes Magazine. In addition, our Chief Engineer, Arun Ramaswamy, recently has been granted his 100th patent, making him our most prolific inventor.

“It’s a privilege to lead our team of engineers and be a part of the innovation that’s happening at Nielsen, as well as to see the impact that we have on the media and advertising industries and the communities where we live,” said Arun. “It’s a big honor for me, and I must thank Nielsen for the opportunity.”

In the video below, Arun shares how he’s approached innovation throughout his career, as well as some insights into the patent process. “I want to encourage all inventors out there to make a difference,” Arun noted.

Pictured above: Arun (center) with other Nielsen engineers recently awarded patents