ASUSTeK Computer

Headquarters: Taipei, Taiwan

Industry sector: Computer hardware

Taiwanese computer hardware and electronics maker ASUSTeK Computer has transformed itself from an original equipment manufacturer to a producer of high-quality, own-branded products, thanks to a laser focus on innovation and IP protection. In recent years it has stepped up its R&D, acquisition and licensing activities to achieve this goal; it is also an active participant in industry standard-setting organisations, ensuring that its patents have significant strategic value. It has managed to carve out a firm foothold in the United States, despite the best efforts of industry incumbent IBM to frustrate its ambitions – in a high-profile 2009 case, Big Blue failed to persuade the US International Trade Commission (ITC) to block imports of ASUSTek motherboards and graphics cards. It is now taking active steps to expand into the US smartphone market on the back of its strong portfolio of 3G and 4G patents.