Utility Patent Trends Gleaned from the IPO’s 2014 IP Record

The Intellectual Property Owners’ Association (IPO) recently released its 2014 IP Record, an annual report detailing intellectual property trends in the United States and the top five patent offices from around the world. The report, now in its seventh year, draws on sources including the USPTO Performance and Accountability Report FY 2013, U.S. District Courts Annual Report 2013, WIPO 2013 World Intellectual Property Indicators, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), and international patent offices. Using these sources, the report provides a broad overview of the global patent landscape and makes it possible to understand and analyze trends in patent prosecution and litigation.

Top Patent Holders -

Annually, the IPO compiles a list of the year’s top utility patent owners and tracks year-to-year growth or decline in patent filings. In a recurring trend IBM held onto its #1 ranking. The computing giant secured 6,788 patents in 2013, a 5% increase relative to 2012. Samsung returned as the second-highest ranking company, obtaining 4,652 patents in 2013. Despite maintaining its ranking, the Korean company underwent a nearly 8% decline over 2012, registering 391 fewer patents this fiscal year. Canon grabbed the third spot having registered 3,918 patents, an 18.5% increase since 2012. Dropping down one position into fourth, Sony saw its patent registration decrease by 8.1% after attaining 3,316 patents in 2013. The top ten grantees list was completed by LG (3,117 patents), Microsoft (2,814), Toshiba (2,679), Panasonic (2,649), Hitachi (2,399), and Google (2,190). Google, the only company to break into the top 10 in 2013, did so from the #23 spot in 2012. The company obtained 2,190 patents – 1,039 more than in 2013 – an increase of more than 90%.

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