Samsung Electronics was found to be the company that registered the second largest number of patents in the United States last year. LG Electronics came in fifth. These facts suggest that Korean companies are making efforts to secure intellectual property rights through active research and development.
An annual report released by IFI Claims, a U.S. patent information company, on Jan. 10 showed that the number of patents registered in the United States last year totaled 300,8553, down 3.5 percent from the all-time record of 320,003 cases set in 2018.
By company, IBM ranked first with 9,100 patents, up 1 percent from the previous year. The computer giant kept the number one position for a whopping 26 consecutive years. Samsung Electronics picked up second place with 5,850 patents, 13 more than in 2017.
Canon (3,056), Intel (2,735) and LG Electronics (2,474) also made the top 5, followed by Taiwan's TSMC, the world's largest semiconductor foundry, Microsoft Technology Licensing, an affiliate of Microsoft, Qualcomm, Apple and Ford Global Technologies.
In addition to Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, Samsung Display stood 14th with 1,948 and Hyundai 19th with 1,369.
By country, U.S. companies accounted for 46 percent of the total, followed by companies of Korea and Japan. In addition, Germany, China, Taiwan, France, Britain and Canada came in the cited order.
Meanwhile, IFI Claims placed Samsung Electronics first in the “patent group application rankings,” which were introduced for the first time in this year's report.
A patent group refers to a set of patents taken in multiple countries to protect a single invention. Companies tend to apply for patents in multiple countries to protect their technologies. Samsung Electronics’s patent groups totaled 60,168, nearly twice the number of Japan’s Canon (33,395 cases) which came in second.
LG Electronics ranked as the No. 19 player with 17,164 while Intel and Apple placed 9th and 36th, respectively.