320,000 US utility patent grants issued in 2017

Patent database provider IFI CLAIMS Patent Services has released its annual analysis of the US patent landscape for 2017.

The company also posted the 2017 IFI CLAIMS U.S. Top 50, its ranking of US utility patent assignees.

IFI said the US Patent and Trademark office (USPTO) issued 320,003 utility grants, up 5.2% from the previous year and more than double the 157,284 granted in 2007.

The research uncovered 8 Technologies with Most Patent Growth in 2017.

The new high-growth areas include e-cigarettes, 3D-printing, machine learning, autonomous vehicles, moulding materials, hybrid vehicles, aerial drones, and food.

IBM continued its 25-year run as the US patent leader with 9,043 grants in 2017 — up 12% from 2016.

Samsung Electronics was in second place, with Samsung Display 10th.

Canon came in at third, as it did last year.

Intel Corp. at Number 4 and LG Electronics at Number 5 displaced Qualcomm and Google LLC which held those positions last year and moved down to Number 6 and Number 7 respectively.

The report’s breakdown by region showed the US with a 46% share of 2017 US patent grants and the rest of the world with 54%.

Asia held the next largest share after the US at 31%, while Europe held 15%.

A breakdown by country showed Japan with 16% of US patent grants, South Korea with 6.5%, and Germany with 5%.

Mainland China took 3.5% or 11,240 patents.

“2017 was an impressive year for U.S. patents,” said Mike Baycroft, CEO, IFI CLAIMS Patent Services.

“We’re seeing twice as many patents generated today as there were a decade ago. We’re seeing IBM nearly tripling its annual patent counts by going from 3,000 plus in 2007 to breaking the 9,000 mark this past year.”

The biggest gainer in 2017 was China’s BOE Technology Group, moving from Number 40 to 21.

Other big gainers included Facebook which made its debut in the top 50 at Number 50, Japanese automobile parts manufacturer Denso Corp. at Number 35, Honeywell International at Number 39, Haliburton Energy Services at Number 44, and China’s Shenzhen China Star Optoelectronics at Number 45.