From the IFI Web Site:
IFI CLAIMSPatent Services, the leading producer of global patent databases, analytic solutions and innovative web services, today announced its top-50 ranking of global companies awarded the most U.S. utility patents in 2011. IFI uses proprietary algorithms and 50 years’ experience analyzing U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) data to compile the de facto annual ranking. Utility patents are the most common patent type and a primary means of protecting intellectual property and technological innovation.
IBM remains in the #1 position, as it has for 19 straight years, with a record 6,180 utility patents, up nearly 5 percent from 2010. A wave of Asian companies fixed on amassing U.S. patent grants, however, continues to grow. Samsung trails second with 4,894, up 8 percent, and Canon, up 11 percent, replaces Microsoft in the #3 slot with 2,821. The next two, Panasonic and Toshiba, each move up one position from where they appeared last year.
According to IFI, the USPTO issued 224,505 utility patents in 2011, an increase of two percent over 2010′s record breaking total. Although patent grants are at all-time high, and global interest in building U.S. portfolios continues to mount, there appears to be a slight lessoning of patent growth among individual companies in the top 50. Cisco, HP, Intel, Microsoft and Oracle all saw fewer patent grants than in 2010. In fact, 16 companies in the top 50 produced fewer patents than last year. Whereby, in 2010, only one of the top 50 received fewer than the prior year.