US patent grants hit an annual record in 2019 with 333,530 issued at the US Trademark and Patent Office, a 15% increase on the previous year.
IBM (with 9,262) and Samsung (6,469) led the pack according to figures released by IFI Claims, which ranks the world’s largest owners of active global patents by parent company, including subsidiaries.
The “2019 IFI 250” report sees Samsung in the overall top spot with 76,638 active patent families, followed by IBM with 37,304, then Canon with 35,724, and GE and Microsoft in fourth and fifth respectively.
As for the 'FAANG' group (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google), Facebook had 989 patents, Apple had 2,490, Amazon was at 2,427, and Google acquired 2,102. Netflix didn’t make the top 50.
This list measures the size of a patent owner’s global portfolio based on the number of currently-held active patent families.
“We expected US 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 “US Top 50” provides insight into innovation and who is developing new IP. The “IFI 250” looks at current patent ownership and gives perspective on the relative size and strength of corporate patent portfolios.
In other highlights of the “Top 50”, which ranks patentees based on the country of origin for the calendar year 2019, US patentees held a 49% share of US patents granted in 2019, up from 46% in 2018.
Meanwhile, 16% of 2019 US patents were granted to recipients based in Japan, followed by South Korea with almost 7%. China surged, moving up to a 5% share to move into fourth place, overtaking Germany for the first time.
In fact, Chinese recipients have shown a nearly 35% increase from 2018 and two Chinese companies (Huawei and BOE Technology Group) make it into the Top 50.
IFI Claims is a provider of global patent data.