More patents were filed in the U.S. in 2019 than ever before – 333,530 were granted, 15 percent more than in 2018, the global patent data platform IFI CLAIMS announced on Monday (Jan. 13).
IBM was the leader in filings for the 27th consecutive year with 9,262, a 2 percent increase over 2018. Samsung ranked second with 6,469 patents, up 11 percent. Canon came in at No. 3 with 35,724 filings, Microsoft ranked fourth with 3,081 and Intel was fifth with 3,020.
“China showed the most growth [by country], moving up to a 5 percent share of U.S. patents, with a nearly 35 percent increase over 2018,” according to IFI’s analysis.
Almost 50 percent of IBM’s 2019 patents related to “hot-button technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, security, blockchain and quantum computing.”
Mike Baycroft, CEO of IFI CLAIMS, said they had anticipated a boost in grants after getting more applications than ever before, “but a surge of this magnitude is unusual.”
Broken out by country, 16 percent of the 2019 U.S. patents went to Japan. South Korea got almost 7 percent and China received 5 percent, ranking it fourth among countries and surpassing Germany for the first time.
The top 10 fastest-growing technologies by U.S. patent growth are CRISPR technology, dashboards (mostly related to automobiles), 3-D printing and medicinal preparations (especially cancer therapies).
A division of Fairview Research, IFI taps proprietary data to produce a patent database that it says is the most accurate in the industry. The company was launched in 1955 under the name Information for Industry (IFI) and is headquartered in New Haven, Connecticut, with a satellite office in Barcelona, Spain.
In September, Apple was granted three separate patents related to the Apple Watch, which would allow for biometric identification, automatic tightening of the band and lighted indicators. Apple leads the wearables market, shipping 46.2 million units for the year.