IFI CLAIMS Announces 2019 Top Global Patent Holders

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Annual U.S. patent grants at all-time high
Samsung tops IFI’s total global ranking with most patents currently held
IBM leads again with most U.S. patents in calendar year

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Jan. 14, 2020 — IFI CLAIMS Patent Services, provider of a leading global patent data platform, today announced that U.S. patent filings hit an all-time high in 2019 with 333,530 patents granted, an unprecedented 15 percent increase from 2018. Additionally, IFI released two global tabulations that shed light on the companies and organizations behind the majority of world patents.
The first is the 2019 IFI 250 global patent assets report which ranks the world’s largest owners of active global patents by parent company including subsidiaries. The second is the 2019 IFI Top 50, the world’s most trusted ranking of top U.S. patent recipients. Highlights from the report and an overview of current trends appear on the IFI website as well as a review of the Top 10 Fastest Growing Technologies.

The 2019 IFI 250 analysis as of December 31, 2019 places Samsung Electronics in the top slot with 76,638 active patent families, followed by IBM at #2 with 37,304, Canon at #3 with 35,724, GE at #4, and Microsoft at #5. This list measures the size of a patent owner’s global portfolio based on the number of currently-held active patent families.

The IFI Top 50 U.S. patent recipients ranking for calendar year 2019 finds IBM leading the pack as it has for 27 years with 9,262—a 2 percent increase from 2018. Samsung Electronics is #2 with 6,469 U.S. grants—up 11 percent. Canon holds the #3 spot as it did last year, with Microsoft at #4 and Intel Corp. at #5.

“We expected U.S. grants to increase this year after a rise in applications last year but a surge of this magnitude is unusual,” said Mike Baycroft, CEO, IFI CLAIMS Patent Services. “The two rankings tell different stories about patent activity. The U.S. Top 50 (and Top 1000) provides insight into innovation and who is developing new intellectual property. The IFI 250 looks at current patent ownership and gives us some perspective on the relative size and strength of corporate patent portfolios.”
The other issue is that IFI’s total global ownership ranking aggregates patent families held by a parent company across the entire organization rather than by assignee name. For example, “Samsung Display” is a subsidiary of “Samsung Electronics.” In the Top 50 ranking, these entities are tracked separately, but the IFI 250 combines them. This process allows IFI to track patent owners with stock ticker symbols and to create the 2019 IFI S&P 100 report, released last week.

In other highlights of the Top 50, the U.S. holds a 49 percent share of U.S. patents granted in 2019 up from 46 percent in 2018. A breakdown by country shows 16 percent of 2019 U.S. patents went to Japan, followed by South Korea with nearly 7 percent. China moves up to a 5 percent share to become the #4 country, surpassing Germany for the first time. China shows a nearly 35 percent increase from 2018 and now has two companies in the Top 15.

Fastest movers:
  • Kia Motors – jumps 58 places to #41
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise – jumps 28 places to #48
  • Facebook – up 22 places to #36
  • Micron Technology – up 9 places to #25
  • Huawei – up 6 places to #10
  • BOE Technology – up 4 places to #13
  • Microsoft – up 3 places to #4
Among the Top 10 Fastest Growing Technologies in terms of U.S. patent growth are CRISPR technology, creating new hybrid plants, dashboards (mostly related to automobiles), 3-D printing, and medicinal preparations (especially cancer therapies).

To create your own analysis, visit the IFI CLAIMS Top 1000, a free tool which uses data from the top 1000 companies that received U.S. patents in 2019. The tool shows live data for 2020 and offers interactive features that allow users to create and sort their own lists using a variety of filters.  
About IFI CLAIMS Patent Services/Fairview Research
IFI CLAIMS Patent Services uses proprietary data architecture to produce the industry’s most accurate patent database. The CLAIMS Direct platform allows for the easy integration of applications, other data sets, and analysis software. Headquartered in New Haven, Conn., with a satellite office in Barcelona, Spain, IFI CLAIMS is a division of Fairview Research. For more information, visit www.ificlaims.com.