I keep reading on hear about Canon's lack of innovation. Apparently not everyone agrees, as they landed at #3 in this article on "The world's most innovative companies":
If you received a $2000 bonus every time you successfully filed a patent for your company (e.g. Canon), would that be sufficient motivation to encourage you to create as many patents as possible? And if you were so motivated, what would your outlook on other companies that also register lots of patents be?
You DO understand why companies do this, right? It is not so they list higher on some arbitrary magazine or web sites "innovation" ranking.
At one time I worked for Rockwell Semiconductor when Lucent came knocking on the door and said, "Hey guys, we are Lucent... you know the old Bell Telephone Laboratories" "well we have a boat load of patents and we're pretty sure you are in violation of quite a few of them so why don't you consider taking out a blanket license, as in, you hand us a bag of money each year and we agree not to bother looking" "otherwise we are about to start."
Sadly, THAT is what patents are for in the modern age and that is why companies encourage people to file.