23K Patent Applications With API References Since 2005

I am working to organize the 23,414 API related patents from between 2005 and present day, submitted by 4,283 companies--present in my API patent research. Not all of these APIs are "web APIs", but I think each companies portfolio tells a lot of what they are doing with APIs, their motivations behind, and is also a reflection on the overall state of the industry.

To help me better understand the growth in API related patents I'm slicing and dicing the data, and publishing in different ways--I recently dumped the number of patents by year and published as a D3.js bar chart.

It is pretty depressing to see the growth in patent applications that mention "application programming interface". I'm not sure what this means, but I know it can't be good for making the web work. I'll keep slicing and dicing things, and see if I can keep deriving any meaning from it all. I'm thinking I will publish each companies patent portfolio by itself, as I work to profile each company to see what they are up to with APIs.