IBM Continues Its Patent Streak

IBM extends its streak of consecutive years with the most patents to 15.

For the 15th consecutive year, IBM in 2007 grabbed the top spot for the most patents.

According to IFI Patent Intelligence, IBM stayed in the top spot with 3,148 patents granted the company. However, that number is down more than 500 grants from 2006.

Samsung came in behind IBM at number two with 2,725 patents, followed by Canon with 1,987 patents, Matsushita with 1,941 patents and Intel with 1,865 patents. Microsoft saw a 12 percent rise in the number of patents granted to the company in 2006. The software giant was ranked sixth with 1,637 patents.

Toshiba, Sony, Micron Technology and Hewlett-Packard completed the top 10 slots in the order listed. IFI Patent Intelligence lists the top 25 U.S. patent winners.

U.S. companies hold five of the top 10 spots on the list. However, of the overall top 25 new patent holders in 2007, U.S. companies hold seven spots and Japanese companies hold 13.

Meanwhile, IFI said that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued 157,284 utility patents in 2007, about 10 percent lower than 2006, which was an all-time high for patents issued. The U.S. patent office has a backlog of more than 1.1 million patents pending, according to that office's most recent USPTO annual report.

The IFI was incorporated in 1955 under the name Information for Industry Inc. IFI is part of Wolters Kluwer Health, in Conshohocken, Pa.