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IFI Claims, today announced a ranking of global companies awarded the most U.S. patents in 2010.  IFI uses proprietary algorithms and 50 years’ experience analyzing U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) data to compile the de facto annual ranking of U.S. utility-patent recipients.  Utility patents are the most common patent type and a primary means of protecting intellectual property and technological innovation.

According to IFI analysis, the USPTO issued an all-time high of 219,614 utility patents in 2010, up 31 percent from 2009 and the most significant annual increase on record.  The official Top-50 company ranking appears below.  IFI’s full report, which offers comprehensive 2010 patent information on more than 2,000 companies, can be accessed online through IFI’s Patent Intelligence & Technology Report, available on its website starting today in a free-trial version.

“The tremendous increase in patent issues in 2010 suggests that so far the economy doesn't appear to have slowed patent flow significantly in the U.S.,” said Darlene Slaughter, general manager of IFI CLAIMS Patent Services.  “Another important factor is the stepped up effort of the USPTO to improve turnaround times and its five-year strategic plan to increase efficiencies and reduce pendency.  The bottom line:  there is still a backlog of patents pending but the number of grants continues to grow even after a period of economic downturn.”

IBM First to Break 5,000-Patent Mark in a Single Year

IBM continues to hold down the #1 position, which it has done for 18 consecutive years, with a record 5,896 patents, up 20 percent from 4,914 in 2009.  Samsung trails second with 4,551, up 26 percent; while Microsoft is third with 3,094, up 6.5 percent.  All of the companies but one in the Top 50 are up over the previous year, most shattering records and many posting double-digit percentage gains.

Exceptional gainers in 2010’s Top 50 include:

·         Apple, +94%

·         Qualcomm, +84%

·         NEC, +74%

·         SAP, +70

·         GM Global Technology, +68%

·         Hynix Semiconductor, +65%

·         Silverbrook Research, +58%

·         3M Innovative Properties, +53%

·         Toyota, +50%

·         Brother, +45%

·         Hon Hai Precision Industry, +44%

·         LG Electronics, +40%

American Companies on Upswing

In 2010, American-headquartered companies collectively recaptured a lead on the total number of U.S. patent grants after losing out slightly to foreign companies for the previous two years.  U.S. assignees captured 50.3 percent of all U.S. utility patents in 2010 with the balance going to foreign assignees.  In 2009, American firms received less than a majority at 49 percent.

The U.S. received more than twice as many corporate patents than Japan (21.3%), the country with the second most U.S. patents issued in 2010.  South Korea (5.4%) remained in third place; Germany (5.2%) in fourth; and Taiwan in fifth (3.8%).

Market sectors with the heaviest new patent activity include Multiplex Communications (US class 370) at 3.3 percent of total; Solid-State Devices and Transistors (US class 257) at 3.1 percent; Semiconductors (US class 438) at 2.7 percent; and Data Processing and File Management (US class 707) and Computers and Processing Systems (US class 709) both at 2 percent.  In addition, Drug Compositions (US class 514) represents 2.1 percent of all patents and Biotechnology (US classes 435 and 530) is 2 percent.

IFI’s 2010 Top-50 Patent Assignees

RANK

COMPANY

2010 Patents

1

International Business Machines Corp

5896

2

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (Korea)

4551

3

Microsoft Corp

3094

4

Canon K K (Japan)

2552

5

Panasonic Corp (Japan)

2482

6

Toshiba Corp (Japan)

2246

7

Sony Corp (Japan)

2150

8

Intel Corp

1653

9

LG Electronics Inc (Korea)

1490

10

Hewlett-Packard Development Co L P

1480

11

Hitachi Ltd (Japan)

1460

12

Seiko Epson Corp (Japan)

1443

13

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (Taiwan)

1438

14

Fujitsu Ltd (Japan)

1296

15

General Electric Co

1225

16

Ricoh Co Ltd (Japan)

1200

17

Cisco Technology Inc

1115

18

Honda Motor Co Ltd (Japan)

1050

19

Fujifilm Corp (Japan)

1041

20

Hynix Semiconductor Inc (Japan)

973

21

Broadcom Corp

958

22

GM Global Technology Operations Inc

942

23

Micron Technology Inc

917

24

Siemens AG (Germany)

873

25

Xerox Corp

858

26

Denso Corp (Japan)

853

27

Texas Instruments Inc

829

28

Honeywell International Inc

824

29

Sharp K K (Japan)

818

30

Toyota Jidosha K K (Japan)

802

31

Infineon Technologies AG (Germany)

774

32

Brother Kogyo K K (Germany)

771

33

Nokia AB Oy (Finland)

760

34

Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd (Australia)

752

35

LG Display Co Ltd (Korea)

738

36

Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co Ltd (Japan)

734

37

Mitsubishi Denki K K (Japan)

700

38

Koninklijke Philips Electronics N V (Netherlands)

685

39

NEC Corp (Japan)

680

40

Boeing Co

662

41

Qualcomm Inc

657

42

SAP AG (Germany)

649

43

Oracle America Inc/Sun Microsystems Inc*

646

44

Bosch, Robert GmbH (Germany)

593

45

Fuji Xerox Co Ltd (Japan)

574

46

Apple Inc

563

47

Du Pont de Nemours, E I & Co

509

48

Sanyo Electric Co Ltd (Japan)

504

49

3M Innovative Properties Co

496

50

Freescale Semiconductor Inc

494

*Sun Microsystems changed name to Oracle.

Patent Intelligence & Technology Report Now Available Online

Available now by visiting the IFI CLAIMS website at www.ificlaims.com, the Patent Intelligence & Technology Report (PITR) is an online search tool that provides complete patent information and rankings for more than 2,000 global companies assigned 10 U.S. patents or more in 2010. For a limited time, a demo version of PITR is available as a free, one-month trial subscription.

IFI CLAIMS Patent Services is a division of Fairview Research, a provider of data enrichment technology and services for technical information retrieval and analysis.  For more than 50 years, IFI has been the preeminent producer of enhanced U.S. patent databases.  The company maintains a comprehensive, global patent collection and utilizes the powerful indexing and standardization algorithms of CLAIMS®, the most reliable, text-searchable database of U.S. patents in the world.

For more information, visit www.fairviewresearch.com or www.ificlaims.com.

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