Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) has over 10,000 patents either issued or pending approval, making it the largest owner of intellectual property in the Middle East, it announced in a statement on Thursday.
The petrochemicals giant said that it filed 373 patent applications in 2013 and applied for 159 applications in the first quarter of this year.
On average, SABIC files a new application every 18 hours, each based on the work of approximately four researchers, the statement added.
“Intellectual property is an important tool to help SABIC achieve its business goals,” said Ernesto Occhiello, SABIC EVP, Technology and Innovation. Along with the patents, SABIC has over 550 active disclosures under review, he added.
John Abokhair, SABIC chief Intellectual Property Counsel, said: “Our patent estate is used as one of several indicators to measure our return on investment in our research and development effort.
“We apply a ‘value-add’ analysis to make sure that our IP estate is used as a tool to help push our business forward. Our teams work closely with our technology and business leaders to maximise the value we gain from our innovation through strategic intellectual property protection.”
SABIC, one of the world’s top petrochemical companies, is involved in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilisers.
It operates in over 40 countries, and has 19 technology and innovation facilities in Saudi Arabia, the US, the Netherlands, Spain, Japan, India, China  and South Korea.
The company, majority owned by the Saudi government, recorded a net profit of SAR25.3 billion ($6.7 billion) in 2013, with sales revenues reaching SAR189 billion ($50.4 billion).