Number of Patents
This is the total number of patents a company has a given time.
The company accrues new patents through Research & Development. Patents provide protection for the company against imitators, maintaining the company's market hold on the patented product for a specified amount of time, depending on the industry. Patents are particularly important among Drug Manufacturers because they allow the drug company to price their drugs higher to compensate for years of costly R&D. However, when patents expire and imitators are allowed to manufacture cheaper, yet chemically identical drugs, the market share of the company's original drug erodes.