Here's something else for U.S automakers to worry about: Honda got more U.S. patents than any other automaker last year.
IFI Patent Intelligence, of Wilmington, Del., which compiles patent databases, says Honda's 730 patents put it in 20th place among all companies that got U.S. patents in 2005. IBM was first for the 13th straight year, with 2,972 patents.
Other noteworthy auto names on IFI's Top 50 list included two German companies: Robert Bosch in 16th place and Siemens in 21st place. Denso of Japan was 24th.
General Motors was 44th. Ford didn't make the top 50.
Those tempted to draw conclusions should remember that the list measures only quantity, not quality.