IBM, Samsung Lead Patent Rankings

From EETimes: IBM led in U.S. utility patent awards again in 2018, a year that saw a dip in overall awards. But a new ranking of global patent holders showed that Samsung leads the pack by far.

The U.S. issued 308,853 utility patents last year, down 3.5% from a historic high in 2017, according to data compiled by IFI CLAIMS Patent Services. The number of U.S. patent applications rose last year, suggesting that grants will rise again in the next year or so, IFI said as it published its Top 50 List.

IBM continued to lead by a wide margin at 9,100 patents, up 1% from 2017. The company said that more than 3,000 of the patents were related to work in artificial intelligence, cloud, and quantum computing, with 1,600 of them in AI.

Most companies showed declines. For example, Qualcomm slid from No. 6 with 2,628 awards in 2017 to No. 8 with 2,300 last year. It held the No. 4 spot in 2016 with 2,925 grants. Google fell from No. 7 to No. 11 with 2,070 awards, down from No. 5 in 2016.

Among the winners, TSMC rose to No. 6 with 2,465 patents, and Apple edged up to No. 9 with 2,160. Other large U.S. companies — Amazon, Boeing, Ford, General Electric, and United Technologies — showed increases.

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