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IBM Continues to Lead in Number of U.S Patents Awarded Annually



March 1, 2022

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As reported by NASDAQ, for the 29th consecutive year, IBM has been awarded the highest number of patents in the U.S., according to data released by the IFI Claims Patent Service.


Despite a 5% decline in patent awards from the previous year, IBM received 8,682 patents in 2021, clinching the top spot by a margin of 2,316 patents. Globally, IBM ranked eighth in cumulative patent holdings, with 41,937 active patent families.

IFI data reveals that the total number of U.S. patents awarded in 2021 dropped 7% from 2020, the largest decline in the past decade. Despite this overall decrease, U.S patents awarded to China-based companies have shown a rise of 10%, up from 18,792 awards in 2020 to 20,679 during 2021.


The growth of China-based companies is reflected by Huawei’s entry into the top five U.S patent recipients in 2021, rising up from the ninth spot in 2020. Huawei was awarded a total of 2,770 patents in 2021, as compared to 2,761 patents in the previous year.


Rounding out the top five spots are Samsung (SSNLF), Canon (CAJ), and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC).

In terms of global patent holdings, Samsung remains the world leader with 90,416 active patent families, amongst core research areas such as AI, data intelligence, robotics, next-generation communications and media, life care and new experiences, and security.

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Authors: Brittni Tee and Jaclyn Tilak

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