We are a technology company. Including our Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (“PARC”) and XMPie subsidiaries, we were awarded 609 U.S. utility patents in 2008. We were ranked 31st on the list of companies that were awarded the most U.S. patents during the year and would have been ranked about 27th with the inclusion of PARC and XMPie patents. Including our research partner Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd (“Fuji Xerox”), we were awarded over 940 U.S. utility patents in 2008. Our patent portfolio evolves as new patents are awarded to us and as older patents expire. As of December 31, 2008, we held approximately 8,900 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 2008, we added 11 agreements to our portfolio of patent licensing agreements, and either we or PARC was a licensor in all 11 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, Océ, Sharp, Samsung and Seiko Epson. These agreements vary in subject matter, scope, compensation, significance and time.
In the U.S., we own approximately 570 trademarks, either registered or applied for. These trademarks have a perpetual life, subject to renewal every ten years. We vigorously enforce and protect our trademarks.