International Business Machines Corp (IBM) has claimed the honor of being awarded the most U.S. patents for the 23rd year in a row after racking up 7,355 utility patents in 2015 according to patent analysis firm IFI Claims Patent Services.
Samsung finished the patent race in second place with 5,072 patents received followed by Canon with 4,134. Qualcomm and Google round out the top five at 2,990 and 2,835 patents awarded, respectively. Within the top 50, it was Amazon that improved the most among American companies as it moved up 24 places (from 50th to 26th) with 1,136 patents.
Larry Cady, IFI Claims Patent Services senior analyst, said several companies in the top 50 dropped considerably lower in the rankings. This wasn't a result of generating fewer patents but rather, because some companies such as Microsoft and Panasonic are parking some of their patents in newly formed holding companies.
Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement that her company has received more than 88,000 U.S. patents in its lifetime. Last year's batch covered a diverse range of inventions with a strong focus on cognitive solutions and the cloud as a platform (more than 2,000 of its patents were in these specific areas).
IFA Claims Patent Services noted that 2015 was the first year since 2007 in which patent growth decreased compared to the previous year (but not by much). In 2015, there were 298,407 utility patents issued, down less than one percent versus 2014.