IBM takes U.S. 2013 patent crown; Qualcomm surges to top 10

Summary:Google and Apple crack the top 20 in patents and the search giant has a slight edge in patents awarded.

IBM takes the U.S. patent crown again for 2013, but Qualcomm debuted in the top 10 and Google nudged out Apple as they cracked the top 20.

According to data from IFI Claims Patent Services, IBM had a record 6,809 patents and has been the top dog for the last 21 years. Samsung was No. 2 and Canon was No. 3.

Qualcomm had a 62 percent jump in patents awarded in 2013 compared to 2012 and landed in the No. 9 spot. Microsoft was No. 5.

Among the top 10 rankings there were three U.S. companies and four Japanese companies---Canon, Sony, Panasonic and Toshiba---and two Korean electronics giants---Samsung and LG.

Google and Apple also made the top 20 list, but search giant was awarded 1,851 patents in the U.S. to its mobile rival's 1,775.

A few items worth noting:

  • IBM's patents revolve around everything from neural networks to cognitive computing to analytics and big data.
  • BlackBerry was No. 20 and jumped 9 places in the patent standings. Bottom line: Blackberry is struggling as a company but it still has intellectual property horsepower.
  • Intel and HP were No. 18 and No. 19, respectively. Cisco was No. 40 in patents.


Topics: Legal, IBM, Tech Industry


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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