IBM Tops 2018 US Patents With 9100

Print Email

International Business Machine Corp. (NYSE: IBM) was issued more patents in 2018 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) than any other company. It was granted 9,100, up 1% from 2017. The second company on the list, Samsung Electronics, was not even close, with 5,850.

According to the USPTO, “A patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to the inventor, issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.” Patents are usually in force 20 years from the date that the patent is assigned. The patent grants are only effective in the United States, U.S. territories and U.S. possessions.

The IFI Claims Patent Services issues it reports of patent grants once a year, based on patents filed the year before. Among the top 10, several are not U.S. companies. Aside from Samsung, based in South Korea, Japan’s Canon ranks number three with 3,056. LG Electronics, based in South Korea, is number five on the list with 2,474. And Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing ranks number six with 2,465.

The U.S. companies among the top 10 include divisions of some well-known names. Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) ranks number four with 2,735. Microsoft Technology Licensing ranks number seven with 2,353. Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) ranks number eight with 2,300. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) ranks number nine with 2,160, and Ford Global Technologies ranks number 10 with 2,123.

Among the top 50, almost all are technology companies, trailed by the research departments of automobile manufacturers.

The authors of the 2018 Patent Rankings and Trends report made several summary points. The USPTO granted 308,853 patents last year, down 35% from a record prior year. U.S. companies received 46% of the patents, followed by Asian companies, which had 31%, and European companies, which had 15%. China claimed the growth crown among individual nations. Companies from the People’s Republic were granted 12,589 patents, or 4% of the total by country. However, this figure was up 12%. Grants from companies in all other countries dropped.

IBM claims that 2018 was the 26th year it held the top of the list of U.S.-issued patents. Over that period, the company said that in all it topped the “110,000-patent milestone.” It added that many of these were related to “AI, cloud computing, cybersecurity, blockchain and quantum computing.”

Finally, patent grants protect intellectual property, but they are no guarantee that this “property” will be used to create one or more commercially successful products. Over 300,000 patents granted in a single year is a huge number. Time will tell if they are valuable.

Company 2018 Grants 2017 Grants % Change
International Business Machines Corp 9,100 9,043 1
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd 5,850 5,837 0
Canon Inc 3,056 3,285 -7
Intel Corp 2,735 3,023 -10
LG Electronics Inc 2,474 2,701 -8
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) Ltd 2,465 2,425 2
Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC 2,353 2,441 -4
Qualcomm Inc 2,300 2,628 -12
Apple Inc 2,160 2,229 -3
Ford Global Technologies LLC 2,123 1,868 14
Google LLC 2,070 2,457 -16
Amazon Technologies Inc 2,035 1,963 4
Toyota Motor Corp 1,959 1,932 1
Samsung Display Co Ltd 1,948 2,273 -14
Sony Corp 1,688 2,135 -21
Huawei Technologies Co Ltd 1,680 1,474 14
BOE Technology Group Co Ltd 1,634 1,413 16
General Electric Co 1,597 1,577 1
Hyundai Motor Co 1,369 1,304 5
Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson AB 1,353 1,552 -13
Seiko Epson Corp 1,285 1,406 -9
Panasonic Intellectual Property Management Co Ltd 1,254 1,338 -6
Boeing Co 1,227 1,177 4
Robert Bosch GmbH 1,136 1,234 -8
Mitsubishi Electric Corp 1,106 1,151 -4
Toshiba Corp 1,104 1,555 -29
GM Global Technology Operations LLC 1,046 1,066 -2
Ricoh Co Ltd 1,043 1,145 -9
Fujitsu Ltd 1,038 1,538 -33
United Technologies Corp 1,011 494 105
Denso Corp 1,003 929 8
AT&T Intellectual Property I LP 985 946 4
Honda Motor Co Ltd 926 910 2
Micron Technology Inc 924 802 15
Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co Ltd 870 977 -11
Siemens AG 870 939 -7
Cisco Technology Inc 848 967 -12
Koninklijke Philips NV 844 905 -7
Halliburton Energy Services Inc 807 738 9
EMC IP Holding Co LLC 801 646 24
SK Hynix Inc 801 942 -15
Texas Instruments Inc 785 923 -15
Honeywell International Inc 749 856 -13
Murata Manufacturing Co Ltd 743 566 31
NEC Corp 715 820 -13
Toshiba Memory Corp 700 216 224
Oracle International Corp 685 753 -9
LG Display Co Ltd 681 605 13
Dell Products LP 668 623 7
Fujifilm Corp 658 695 -5

Courtesy of IFI Claims Patent Services.

I'm interested in the Newsletter