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Canon remains top Japanese company in US patent rankings

Canon remains top Japanese company in US patent rankings

Canon remained the top Japan-based company in patent rankings, after the USPTO granted 3,174 patents to the EOS 6D maker.

Canon remains top Japanese company in US patent rankings

The IFI CLAIMS Patent Services revealed the companies which were granted the highest amount of patents in the US by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. IFI, a research firm, confirmed that Canon remained the top Japanese company, before its compatriots.

Top Japanese patent filer in the US since 2005

According to IFI, Canon was granted 3,174 patents in 2012 by the USPTO, while Sony had 3,032 and Panasonic 2,769. Toshiba was also among the top contenders, with exactly 2,447 patents and it was the last Japanese company in the top ten list released by the researchers.

A Canon press release, published shortly after the announcement, said that the company is very proud to be the top Japanese patent filer for the eighth consecutive year. The camera maker has been the first since 2005 and explains that it currently puts a great deal of emphasis on globalization, in order to obtain and make use of as many patents as possible in essential markets.

United States is a priority due to the extremely vast market, says the press release.

Third US patent filer overall

Even though peaks at no. 1 among the Japanese companies when it comes to patents, it places third overall, behind giants like IBM and Samsung. IBM remained the top patent filer in the United States for the 20th consecutive year. In 2012, IBM filed for 6,478 patents, while the South Korean company filed for 5,081 patents, far ahead Canon and Sony.

IBM is said to receive $1 billion yearly from licensing its patents to other companies. The company’s Research and Development facility gets more than $6 billion per year from IBM’s total finances.

Canon ranked third in 2011, 2008, 2007, and 2006, while in 2010 and 2009 it came fourth. The Japanese firm actually ranked second back in 2005, with 1,828 patents filed. In all these years, IBM was the unmatched leader.

Competition is harder

The top ten list is completed by Microsoft with 2,613 patents, Hon Hai Precision (Foxconn) with 2,013, General Electric with 1,652, and LG Electronics with 1,624.

If Canon had filed for the same amount of patents as in 2012, then it would have come fourth, as Sony would have taken its place.

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Canon remains top Japanese company in US patent rankings