SAN JOSE, Calif. – U.S. utility patent awards rebounded to a new record high of 304,126 grants last year, up nearly 2% after a 1% decline in 2015. IBM continued its now 24-year run of being the largest patent winner with a few surprises among others that rose and fell.
IBM received 8,088 patents, up nearly 10 percent over 2015 and the most any company has ever acquired in a calendar year, according to the 2016 U.S. Top 50 from IFI CLAIMS Patent Services. The IBM increase is huge, that’s nearly a thousand more patents,” said Larry Cady, a senior analyst at IFI, noting the patents spanned system and silicon areas.
Globalfoundries which bought IBM’s chip division in July 2015, saw the fastest growth in patents of any company last year. It was up 131% rising to #22 in its first full year with the former IBM division under its belt.
Among the top 10, Intel nudged up three slots to #6 with a 36% rise in patent grants in 2016. Its foundry rival TSMC won 29% more patents than in 2015, rising four slots to #9.
The rest of the top 10 was largely unchanged with Samsung at #2, Canon at #3, Qualcomm at #4, and Google again at #5. The search giant broke into the top 10 in 2014.
Among the top 20, Amazon saw the biggest rise, up 46% with 1,662 patents, jumping 12 slots to #14. It was the second year of a surge for the data center giant which bought chip startup Annapurna a year ago. Last year Amazon moved up 24 places from #50 to #26.
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