January 10, 2018
CLAIMS Patent Services released its annual analysis of the U.S. patent
landscape for 2017. Highlights are posted on the company’s website in a
series of interactive charts and graphics including a roundup of 2017
patent trends and insights.
The company also posted the official 2017 IFI CLAIMS U.S. Top 50, the
world’s most trusted ranking of U.S. utility patent assignees.
2017 was busy year for the U.S. Patent and Trademark office (USPTO),
which issued 320,003 utility grants, according to IFI, up 5.2 percent
from the previous year and more than double the 157,284 granted in 2007.
According to the report, IBM
continued its remarkable 25-year run as the U.S. patent leader with
9,043 grants in 2017—up 12 percent from 2016. No other patent assignee
has led the list for this many consecutive years nor broken the 9,000
Samsung Electronics is #2—up 6 percent over 2016. With Samsung Display
coming in at #10, Samsung has two assignee names in the top 10 and three
in the top 100. Together, the top 5 Samsung-owned assignees come within
150 grants of IBM.
Canon holds the #3 spot as it did last year. Intel Corp. at #4 and LG
Electronics at #5 displace Qualcomm and Google LLC which held those
positions last year and move down to #6 and #7 respectively.
report’s breakdown by region shows the U.S. with a 46 percent share of
2017 grants and the rest of the world with 54 percent. Asia holds the
next largest share after the U.S. at 31 percent while Europe holds 15
percent. A breakdown by country shows Japan with 16 percent of U.S.
grants, South Korea with 6.5 percent, and Germany with 5 percent.
Mainland China holds 3.5 percent or 11,240 patents—up 28 percent over
“2017 was an impressive year for U.S. patents,” said Mike Baycroft, CEO,
IFI CLAIMS Patent Services. “We’re seeing twice as many patents
generated today as there were a decade ago. We’re seeing IBM nearly
tripling its annual patent counts by going from 3,000 plus in 2007 to
breaking the 9,000 mark this past year.“
The biggest gainer in 2017 was China’s BOE Technology Group, up 63
percent and moving from #40 to #21. Other big gainers include Facebook
which made its debut in the top 50 at #50 and up 50 percent over 2016;
Japanese automobile parts manufacturer #35 Denso Corp. up 23 percent;
#39 Honeywell International up 27 percent; #44 Haliburton Energy
Services which increased 35 percent; and #45 China’s Shenzhen China Star
Optoelectronics up 44 percent.
Technologies With Most Significant Growth
The research uncovered 8 Technologies with Most Patent Growth in 2017.
The new high-growth areas include e-cigarettes, 3D-printing, machine
learning, autonomous vehicles, moulding materials, hybrid vehicles,
aerial drones, and food. These are not the largest patent
classifications but the ones that have shown the fastest growth over the
last five years, according to Larry Cady, senior analyst, IFI CLAIMS
Patent Services, who led the research.