IBM Tops US Patent List for 2019

Ruben Fields
January 17, 2020

IBM inventors were granted more than 2,500 patents in cloud technology, including for example a patent for a method to jointly manage cloud and non-cloud computing platforms. China is the rising star.

A 2019 list, released by IFI CLAIMS Patent Services, a provider of global patent data information, states that the USA holds a 49 per cent share of U.S. patents granted in 2019, up from 46 per cent in 2018. About 16 per cent of the 2019 USA patents were bagged by Japan; South Korea had a seven per cent share. China increased its share to 5 per cent and is fourth in the pecking order, ahead of Germany.

Just behind Amazon was Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, and Chinese companies as a group claimed 5% of USA patents issued past year, trailing South Korean and Japanese businesses among foreign patent awardees. Additionally, Canon has once again ranked first in patents among Japanese companies for the 15 consecutive year. China shows a almost 35 percent increase from 2018 and now has two companies in the Top 15. Another well-known Chinese name in India - Tencent Technology Shenzhen Co - bagged 416 grants.

But a robust and growing patent portfolio is table stakes for the world's biggest technology companies, and their employees are often recognized and rewarded for inventions patented on behalf of their employers.

IBM Corp. topped the list with 9,262 grants last year, up 2 percent from a year earlier, maintaining the USA company's position as the patent leader for the 27th consecutive year.

Reports released on Tuesday by IFI Claims, a New Haven-based patent service, around 333,530 patents were granted which is an increase from previous year by 15 percent.

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While Indian companies are not in the top 100, many Indian inventors work with these multinationals.

The technology giant was awarded more than 2500 cloud technology patents and 1800 AI patents, along with a number of blockchain, security and quantum computing patents, according to IBM.

With over 900 patents, India became the second largest contributor in the world to help IBM achieve a milestone of most patents ever awarded to a United States company, the company announced on Tuesday.

The total number of patents granted by the United States to Chinese companies grew by a significant percentage in 2019.

While IBM may be consistently the top recipient of patents, its holdings aren't the largest, IFI found. Samsung Electronic leads the pecking order with 76,638 granted patents.

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