IBM scores most patents in 2016, Apple doesn’t crack Top 10

Top 5 patent recipients unchanged in 2016 patent race

IBM scores most patents in 2016, Apple doesn’t crack Top 10
Michelle Maher / IDGNS

The five companies that earned the most U.S. patents last year are the same five companies that dominated the 2015 ranking of top patent recipients: IBM, Samsung, Canon, Qualcomm and Google.

IBM earned the No. 1 slot for the 24th consecutive year with 8,088 patents granted to its inventors in 2016. Samsung, again ranked second, earned 5,518 patents, and Canon came away with 3,665. Rounding out the Top 5 just as they did in 2015 are Qualcomm with 2,897 patents and Google with 2,835 patents.

Overall, 2016 saw 304,126 utility patent grants, which is the most on record in a single year, according to data compiled by IFI CLAIMS Patent Services.  IFI, which specializes in patent analysis, tracks utility patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and each year it releases its annual ranking of the top 50 recipients.

Apple held its No. 11 ranking and saw an 8 percent increase in grants, which brought it to 2,102 patents. Cisco climbed two spots on the ranking to No. 34, earning 978 patents last year compared to 960 in 2015.


Big patent gainers in 2016 include Nokia, which earned 695 patents, a gain of 74 percent compared to a year ago; Huawei Technologies, which grew its patent numbers by 50 percent to 1,202; and Amazon, which earned 1,662 patents for a gain of 46 percent.

The largest gain, percentage-wise, went to GlobalFountries, which earned 1,407 patents in 2016 compared to 609 patents in 2015 – a spike of 131 percent. GlobalFoundries gained patent momentum from recent IBM semiconductor acquisitions, according to IFI CLAIMS.

Here are the Top 50 patent assignees in 2016, as calculated by IFI CLAIMS.

IFI CLAIMS makes available its full list of the top 1,000 patent recipients; free registration is required. 

This story, "IBM scores most patents in 2016, Apple doesn’t crack Top 10" was originally published by Network World.

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