IBM, Samsung Churn Out Most Patents in 2007
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: