Samsung Over Takes IBM in US Patent Race, Gains Top Spot For First Time

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Samsung Electronics has overtaken IBM as the holder of the most US patents as of the beginning of 2018, according to new data. The South Korean tech firm owned 75,596 US patents, outdoing the second best IBM by nearly 1.6 times, as of January 1, Yonhap news agency said on Monday, quoting the top 100 list drawn up jointly by the journal IAM and intellectual property big data analysis company ktMINE.

IBM, which had ranked at the top for the past 25 years, held 46,443 patents. “South Korea’s Samsung takes the top spot and probably will for the foreseeable future,” the analysis report said. “Even though IBM continually out files other companies, its assets are also ageing; in addition, it is known for abandoning a number of its patents relatively early in their lifetimes.”

“As (IBM’s) assets grow older, it will have to innovate more (or acquire more patent assets) to keep pace,” the report added. Japan’s Canon came in third with 38,996 patents, followed by Microsoft with 33,327. Intel ranked fifth with 30,985. Another South Korean tech firm, LG Electronics, settled at seventh place with 28,235.

US companies accounted for 45 of the top 100, with European firms claiming 14 spots. Two Chinese companies, Huawei and Lenovo were ranked 61st and 93rd respectively.

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