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IT Channel News Briefs, Jan. 5

Today's headlines: IBM retains patent crown; Microsoft browser loses share

IBM retains patent crown in 2008

IBM led the pack by far in computer systems patents with 3,149 patents granted last year according to The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' annual patent survey. Rival Hewlett-Packard was second with 1,466 followed by Fujitsu, Sun Microsystems and NEC Corp. Japan.

Microsoft won the crown in software patents. The software giant logged 1,649 patents for the year. SAP AG placed a distant second with 152 patents and Digimarc Corp. showed third with 60. Other big names in the top ten included America Online, Symantec and Oracle.

Microsoft browser loses share

In December, the Firefox browser came in at over 20% market share for the full month, according to market tracker Net Applications. According to numbers released Jan. 5, Firefox hit 21. 34% for the full month, while Microsoft's top dog Internet Explorer weighed in at 68.15%. Apple Safari logged 7.93% and the upstart Google Chrome hit 1.04%.

For the past six months, IE has hovered at between 70% and 75% share while Firefox has been moving up from 18%, according to Net Applications. The holiday months mean an increase of home consumer use of browsers for shopping, which have led to a seasonal spike in Firefox use.

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