Samsung and LG Electronics solidified their position as major patent holders in the U.S., as they successfully entered the top 10 U.S. patent recipient rankings last year, following 2013. This achievement is widely acknowledged to be the results of their systemic and continuous investment in securing intellectual property rights.
According to the official 2014 top 50 released by IFI CLAIMS Patent Services on Jan. 12, Samsung was in the runner-up position with 4,952 patents, and LG in 9th place with 2,122 patents.
Considering that U.S.-based IBM was the top-ranked company with 7,534 patents, Samsung registered the largest number of patents among foreign firms. Last year's rankings were unchanged from 2013, but the number of patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office increased 6 percent year-on-year. LG posted a year-on-year growth of 9 percent in the number of patents, and its ranking went up by one notch from 10th to 9th place in 2014. In fact, the Korean tech giant saw the number grow each year since 2011.
Canon was in the third spot with 4,055 patents, followed by Sony (3,224), Microsoft (2,829), Toshiba (2,608), Qualcomm (2,590), and Google (2,566). As for other Korean firms and research institutes, Samsung Display (20th, 1511), SK Hynix (39th, 902), and the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (41th, 897) were among the top 50.
Samsung focused on registering intellectual property rights for their research and development (R&D) activities, and invested 14.8 trillion won (US$13.6 billion) in R&D in 2013. As a result, the company filed 7,643 patent applications with the Korea Intellectual Property Office and 11,289 cases in other countries.
In particular, the Korean firm owns 11,765 patents worldwide, after its first patent registration in the U.S. in 1984. The company holds the largest number of patents in the U.S., after Korea. A Samsung associate explained that the firm's effort is part of its measure to effectively respond to patent disputes in the U.S.