IBM Tops Annual List of Patent Assignees in 2013

Patent Attorney Los AngelesOrange County – A new report listing the nation’s top patent recipients of 2013 shows fascinating results.  The listing, which is compiled annually by IFI CLAIMS Patent Services, ranked IBM as the top patent assignee of the year, with a whopping total of 6,809.  IBM’s impressive numbers set the record for most patents awarded in a year to a single company ever by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Beyond IBM’s dominance of the list, another highlight of the report shows that for the second year in a row, Google beat out rival tech giant Apple in the number of patents it was awarded in 2013.   With Google coming in at number 11 and Apple securing the 13th spot on the list, both companies moved into the top 20 for the first time ever.  In front of them, Samsung came in at number 2, with Canon, Microsoft and Sony rounding out the top 5.   Of all of the companies included on the list, San Diego-based Qualcomm scored the biggest leap, jumping 62% from last year’s numbers up to number 9.  Staple American companies like GE and GM kept their spots within the top 20.

IFI CEO Mike Baycroft said of the list that there are not many surprises in the top 10, with the big name technology companies all expectedly churning out large numbers of patent filings.  He was quick to point out, however, that as you go down the list, there is more “jockeying and reordering,” making it easy to recognize the companies with the most “patent momentum.”  He brought up the “candidates that are likely to bubble up tomorrow, companies like Amazon, Verizon and China’s Huawei Technologies, to name a few.

Baycroft also added mention of the growing number of patent assignees included in the list.  While it comes as little surprise that more and more patents are being filed each year (the report states that the USPTO issued over 277,800 utility patents last year), it is notable that there are a growing number of people filing them, and many of them are small start-up companies.  Baycroft takes this point to pose the questions of whether the future of innovation may be moving out of huge heavy hitter companies and “returning to the garage.”




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