IBM, Samsung Churn Out Most Patents in 2007

By Chris Gonsalves  |  Posted 2008-01-14 Print this article Print

While activity is down slightly from the 2006 record, patent officials still face a massive backlog.

IBM continues to churn out more patents than its competitors, logging an impressive 3,148 for the year, according to a review of patent grants by IFI Patent Intelligence . While the IBM total was nearly 500 less than in 2006, it was still enough to give Big Blue bragging rights for the 15th year in a row.

South Korean tech giant Samsung took second place with 2,725 patents followed by Japanese manufacturers Canon and Matsushita with U.S. chip giant Intel rounding out the top five. Makers of semiconductors and active solid state devices along with telcos led the patent-class categories, but others areas such as data storage and retrieval, pharmaceuticals, chemistry and energy showed significant gains since 2006, according to the IFI study.

Like IBM, nearly 80 percent of the companies on IFI's list of top 35 patent winners logged fewer grants in 2007 than in 2006, according to Darlene Slaughter, general manager of IFI Patent Intelligence.

Notable exceptions included Samsung, which rang up 11 percent more patents year over year. Others gaining ground include Microsoft, a 12 percent jump; Denso up 4 percent; and Nokia, with a 14 percent gain, according to the report.

That performance matched the overall picture at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which saw a 9.5 percent drop in utility patents year over year to a total of 157,284. Despite the reduction, a USPTO report shows the agency still wrestling with a backlog of more that 1.1 million patents pending.

2007's Top 35 performers as compiled by IFI Patent Intelligence:
Rank Company 2007 Patents
1 IBM 3148
2 Samsung 2725
3 Canon 1987
4 Matsushita 1941
5 Intel 1865
6 Microsoft 1637
7 Toshiba 1549
8 Sony 1481
9 Micron 1476
10 Hewlett-Packard 1470
11 Hitachi 1397
12 Fujitsu 1315
13 Seiko Epson 1208
14 General Electric 914
15 Infineon Technologies 856
16 Denso 803
17 Texas Instruments 752
18 Ricoh 728
19 Honda 719
20 Siemens 700
21 LG Electronics 684
22 Nokia 682
23 Sharp 667
24 Fujifilm 662
25 NEC 617
26 Sun Microsystems 610
27 Cisco 582
28 Bosch 569
29 Koninklijke Philips 560
30 Honeywell 539
30 Broadcom 533
31 Broadcom 533
31 Silverbrook 533
33 Xerox 517
33 Renesas Technology 517
35 Eastman Kodak 493


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