San Diego-based Qualcomm ranked 4th among all companies in patents issued last year, beating Internet powerhouse Google, in a widely-followed annual ranking.
IBM ranked first first with 7,355, followed by Samsung with 5,072, Canon with 4,134, Qualcomm with 2,900 and Google with 2,835. Qualcomm was the only San Diego company in the top 50.
The ranking was released late last week by Connecticut-based IFI CLAIMS Patent Services, which analyzes U.S. Patent and Trademark Office data each year to count the number of “utility patents” issued to private companies. Utility patents cover the invention of a new process or device or a significant improvement.
The calendar year 2016 saw 304,126 utility patents, the most issued in a single year, according to IFI CLAIMS.
American companies hold 41 percent of those patents followed by Japan at 28 percent, South Korea at 15 percent, Taiwan at 4 percent, Germany at 2.6 percent and China at 2.5 percent.
“Although it was a bit of a down year for Japan, Asia as a whole continues to make impressive gains with U.S. patents,” said Mike Baycroft, CEO of IFI CLAIMS. “American tech companies are similarly motivated but it will be interesting to see how this path plays out in five or ten years. At this rate, South Korea, China and Taiwan will likely capture an even larger share of the U.S. patent market.”
IFI CLAIMS is the nation’s oldest patent analysis firm.
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