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2010 Patent Grants At All-Time High - Up 31 Percent Over 2009 - A Sign That Recession Failed to Slow Patent Flow

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Tom Kivett
Kivett & Company Communications
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IFI CLAIMS Announces Top Global Companies Ranked By 2010 U.S. Patents

2010 Patent Grants At All-Time High – Up 31 Percent Over 2009 – A Sign That Recession Failed to Slow Patent Flow
WILMINGTON, Del., Jan. 10, 2011 — IFI CLAIMS® Patent Services, a division of Fairview Research and the leading producer of value-added U.S. patent databases and indexing services, 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.

EDITORS:  For analysis, factoids, sector breakdowns or to set an interview, please contact Tom Kivett at 212-727-2935 or via email at tkivett@kivettandco.com.

CLAIMS® is a registered trademark of IFI CLAIMS Patent Services.
About IFI CLAIMS Patent Services/Fairview Research
For more than 50 years, IFI CLAIMS Patent Services (Wilmington, Del.), a division of Fairview Research, has been the preeminent producer of value-added U.S patent databases. From the most rigorous U.S. assignee name standardization process in the industry, to continual class code updates, and comprehensive indexing for chemical patents — IFI has built a solid reputation as a leader in patent databases. Fairview Research (New Haven, Conn., and Barcelona, Spain) is a provider of data enrichment technology and services for information retrieval and analysis. Founded in 2006, the company is skilled at making large-scale scientific and technical databases more searchable and helping to lower the cost of specialized research. Fairview has an experienced team that has been serving the intellectual property information market for more than 16 years, and, with the acquisition of IFI CLAIMS Patent Services (Wilmington, Del.) in 2010, has forged a global data enrichment services firm that caters to corporate clients and information professionals with an emphasis on customer care and support. For more information, visit www.fairviewresearch.com or www.ificlaims.com.