Help Guide for IFI Rankings

Learn more about each annual ranking report and how to use our Live 1000 Ranking. Key report terms are also highlighted and explained.

Live 1000

The following table describes the data fields available in the Live 1000. You can adjust the ranking by clicking "apply filter."

Field Description
Rank Rank based on patents recorded in 2021
Assignee Entity which holds the rights to a patent (typically an assignee name)
Country Country the original applicant is incorporated in (separate from the Publishing Authority filter, which sets which country the patents are registered in)
2020 patents Number of patent grants recorded by IFI CLAIMS in 2020
2021 patents Number of patent grants recorded by IFI CLAIMS in 2021
2022 to date Number of patent grants recorded by IFI CLAIMS in 2022 up to the current date
Patent History View line graphs showing the numbers of applications and grants filed by an assignee in different time periods
Top CPCs View a bar graph showing the number of patents granted to an assignee, arranged by CPC

Filtering Options

Field Description Default
Publishing Authority Patent office which issued the patent United States
Ownership Entity which holds the rights to a patent:
  • Original owner: assignee at time of publication
  • Current owner: current assignee, determined by reassignments
Original owner
Years Select which year range to receive results for, starting from 2017 in groups of 3 years 2020 - 2022
CPC Search Cooperative Patent Classification codes
Search by code or type keywords to autocomplete
All
Type Type of patent:
  • Grants: granted patents
  • Applications: pending requests for grants
Grants
Probable Assignees Include probable assignees determined by IFI CLAIMS for patents which were filed with no assignee (US only) Do not include

Based on the top 1000 companies who received US patent grants, you can search, sort, filter, and generate charts to make your own discoveries. Below are examples of common searches…

Search for a company

Utilize the search bar to type in a company name to view their patent applications or grants.

Discover recent patent trends

Click on the arrow at the end of each row to access two types of graphs for analyzing patent trends since 2017. One graph displays trends in patent applications, while the other graph shows grants.

Which technologies are being patented?

Searching by CPC codes allows you to determine the types of technologies companies are filing in, which can help you distinguish current technology trends.

Who is a competitor within a given technology?

Once you have searched for a CPC code, you can determine which companies within the Top 1000 are also filing in a given technology.

Top 50

The Top 50 ranks the top annual assignees in terms of patent grants, providing insights into which assignees are actively patenting their technologies. Unlike the Global 250 and the S&P 100 rankings, the Top 50 ranks based on the actual legal entity referenced in patent records.

Terms in this report
IFI Names The IFI Names Service provides a simple method to find the standardized form of a company name (the "IFI Name"). IFI's approach of using only patent-holding companies combined with our company name recognition ability has enabled a precise and accurate look at corporate parent companies’ patent ownership.
Grant Granted patents
Assignees Entity which holds the rights to a patent (typically an assignee name)

Global 250

The Global 250 expands the scope of IFI's rankings in a couple of important ways. Rankings, such as the Top 50, are based on the actual legal entity referenced in patent records. The Global 250 ranks based on the Ultimate Owner of these entities. For example, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd is not a single entity but a collection of subsidiaries owned by Samsung.

In addition we rank the Global 250 by active patent families. The patent family is a collection of global patent filings related to a single invention. For example, hypothetically if Ford invents a new self-driving technology and files related patent applications in 10 countries, this represents one patent family. Further we only count patent families that are active – which contain at least one current, granted patent. This is a patent that can be enforced and has not expired.

Finally we only count active families that are currently owned by the Ultimate Owner. This method provides us with a reliable way of quantifying the patent assets (inventions) currently owned by a corporate entity. The Global 250 ranks the portfolios of the world's largest organizations which are primarily publicly traded corporations almost all of which report “intangible assets" on their balance sheets – a mysterious number that is intended to reflect perceived value of assets like patents, trademarks, and other intellectual property.

IFI's Global 250 provides a fresh glimpse into a company’s intellectual property assets. This methodology helps us better understand broad corporate statements concerning intellectual property.

Terms in this report
Active Family The patent family is a collection of global patent filings related to a single invention. For example, if a company invents a new technology and files related patent applications in 10 countries, that represents one patent family. Further we only count patent families that are active – which contain at least one current, granted patent. This is a patent that can be enforced and that has not expired.
Finally, we only count active families that are currently owned by the Ultimate Owner. This provides us with a reliable way of quantifying the patent assets (inventions) currently owned by a corporate entity.
Ultimate Owner A corporate entity that has one or more subsidiaries with patent assets - i.e. subsidiaries that appear as either original or current patent applicants or assignees.
Global Portfolio Patent portfolios of global corporations which use Ultimate Owner reports and IFI Names to create custom results which are expanded to include all subsidiaries and family members across the world.
IFI Names The IFI Names Service provides a simple method to find the standardized form of a company name (the "IFI Name"). IFI's approach of using only patent-holding companies combined with our company name recognition ability has enabled a precise and accurate look at corporate parent companies’ patent ownership.

S&P 100

The S&P 100 ranking, a slice of the Global 250, is an Ultimate Owner report of S&P 100 companies. This ranking, in contrast to the Top 50, compares global patent portfolios. In other words, all of an entity's global IP holdings, including its subsidiaries, are tabulated to create a ranking which compares total IP holdings for S&P 100 companies as a snapshot in time.

Terms in this report
Active Family The patent family is a collection of global patent filings related to a single invention. For example, if a company invents a new technology and files related patent applications in 10 countries, that represents one patent family. Further we only count patent families that are active – that contain at least one current, granted patent. This is a patent that can be enforced and that has not expired.
Finally, we only count active families that are currently owned by the Ultimate Owner. This provides us with a reliable way of quantifying the patent assets (inventions) currently owned by a corporate entity.
Ultimate Owner A corporate entity that has one or more subsidiaries with patent assets - i.e. subsidiaries that appear as either original or current patent applicants or assignees.
Global Portfolio Patent portfolios of global corporations which use Ultimate Owner reports and IFI Names to create custom results which are expanded to include all subsidiaries and family members across the world.
IFI Names The IFI Names Service provides a simple method to find the standardized form of a company name (the "IFI Name"). IFI's approach of using only patent-holding companies combined with our company name recognition ability has enabled a precise and accurate look at corporate parent companies’ patent ownership.

Trends & Insights

The annual trends and insights analysis provides an overview of US patent activity. Not only does the review provide overall trends for US patent grants and applications, but it also highlights the top countries patenting in the US and the key trends in CPC codes.

Terms in this report
Grants Granted patents
Applications Pending requests for grants
Filing Process to file a new application, sometimes used interchangeably with application
CPC Code Cooperative Patent Classification code; technology area for a given patent

Top 10 Fastest Growing Technologies

The Top 10 Fastest Growing Technologies report ranks US pre-grant applications, providing insight into rapidly growing patent classifications and the companies investing in those areas.

Terms in this report
Applications Pending requests for grants
CPC Code Cooperative Patent Classification code; technology area for a given patent