IBM has dominated the U.S. patent race for two decades. IBM earned 6,478 utility patents last year, topping the list of patent winners for the 20th year in a row, according to data from IFI CLAIMS Patent Services. With its record haul, Big Blue bested its 2011 patent tally by 5%.
IBM retained its patent crown in 2013, snaring more U.S. patents than any other company for the 21st year in a row. But the big news is Google, which quickened its patent pace and climbed to No. 11 in the rankings. IBM was awarded 6809 utility patents last year, according to data from IFI Claims Patent Services. That record-setting haul is up 5 percent compared to 2012, when Big Blue earned 6478 patents. After IBM, Samsung Electronics was the second most prolific patent winner, with 4675 patents received in 2013. Canon placed third with 3825 patents, followed by Sony (3098), Microsoft (2660), Panasonic (2601), Toshiba (2416), Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (2279), Qualcomm (2103), and LG Electronics (1947).