Patents, Trademarks and Licenses
Xerox and its subsidiaries were awarded 1,030 U.S. utility patents in 2011. On that basis, we would rank 19th on the list of companies that were awarded the most U.S. patents during the year. Including our research partner Fuji Xerox, we were awarded over 1,600 U.S. utility patents in 2011. Our patent portfolio evolves as new patents are awarded to us and as older patents expire. As of December 31, 2011, we held more than 10,500 design and utility U.S. patents. These patents expire at various dates up to 20 years or more from their original filing dates. While we believe that our portfolio of patents and applications has value, in general no single patent is essential to our business or any individual segment. In addition, any of our proprietary rights could be challenged, invalidated or circumvented, or may not provide significant competitive advantages.
In the U.S., we are party to numerous patent-licensing agreements and, in a majority of them we license or assign our patents to others in return for revenue and/or access to their patents. Most patent licenses expire concurrently with the expiration of the last patent identified in the license. In 2011, we added 12 new agreements to our portfolio of patent-licensing and sale agreements, and Xerox and its subsidiaries were licensor or seller in nine of the agreements. We are also a party to a number of cross-licensing agreements with companies that hold substantial patent portfolios, including Canon, Microsoft, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Oce, Sharp, Samsung and Seiko Epson. These agreements vary in subject matter, scope, compensation, significance and time.
In the U.S., we own more than 550 U.S. trademarks, either registered or applied for. These trademarks have a perpetual life, subject to renewal every 10 years. We vigorously enforce and protect our trademarks.