The company was granted 6180 patents in 2011, up almost 5 percent from 2010, according to IFI Claims Patent Services. Samsung remained in second place, but climbed by 8 percent to 4894 patents. Canon, Panasonic and Toshiba surpassed Microsoft and with 2821, 2559 and 2483 granted patents, respectively. Microsoft is now in sixth place with 2311 patents, which was down from 3094 in 2010. Apple climbed from rank 46 to 39 and added 676 patents in 2011, up from 563 in 2010.
In addition to Cisco, HP, Intel, Microsoft and Oracle were also granted fewer patents in 2011 than in 2010. Asian firms now account for 25 or half of the top 50 U.S. patent-grant recipients. U.S. firms captured just 17 slots.
“Global companies, and especially Asian ones, are collecting U.S. patents at a dizzying pace, and now Asian firms hold eight of the top 10 slots in the 2011 ranking,” said Mike Baycroft, CEO at IFI Claims Patent Services. “This isn’t to say that U.S. companies have lost their verve for patent production, as their patent portfolios are also growing. It seems that Asian companies have apparently made it a higher priority.”
IFI said that 224,505 utility patents were granted by the USPTO in 2011, which translates to a 2 percent increase over 2010 and represents a new record high.IBM has been leading the ranking since 1992.