TOKYO (01/25/2000) - IBM Corp. gained the most U.S. patents in 1999 -- the seventh consecutive year in a row that it has held the honor, according to IFI Claims Patent Services' annual Patent Intelligence and Technology Report.
IBM was awarded 2,789 patents in 1999, more than the 2,682 it gained in 1998 and 37 percent more than the next nearest company, Japan's NEC Corp., which gained 1,853 patents in the year. IBM received most of its patents in the area of "Information Processing Systems" followed by "Data Processing and Database Management," and led both sectors.
NEC Corp. said the majority of the patents it received were for next-generation communications protocols for mobile Internet and multimedia applications. Other areas in which it received many patents included those pertaining to technology that will enable the migration to and operation of the Internet and MPEG-related technologies.
Among the twelve companies that received more than 1,000 patents in the year, Japanese companies dominated with 8 of the twelve positions. The other American companies to appear were Motorola Inc. and Lucent Technologies Inc., with South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. also ranking.
The top twenty companies awarded patents in 1999, according to IFI Claims Patent Services, were:
1. IBM Corp., 2,789
2. NEC Corp., 1,853
3. Canon Inc., 1,800
4. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., 1,544
5. Sony Corp., 1,429
6. Fujitsu Ltd., 1,231
7. Toshiba Corp., 1,225
8. Motorola Inc., 1,207
9. Lucent Technologies Inc., 1,156
10. Mitsubishi Electric Corp., 1,089
11. Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., 1,06512. Hitachi Ltd., 1,02013. Eastman Kodak Co., 99314. Micron Technology Inc., 93415. Philips Electronics North America Corp., 86616. Hewlett-Packard Co., 85517. Advanced Micro Devices Inc., 82518. Intel Corp., 73519. Siemens AG, 73120. General Electric Co., 700IFI Claims Patent Services, in Wilmington, Delaware, can be contacted at +1-302-998-0478 or on the Web at http://www.ificlaims.com/.