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Samsung, LG among top U.S. patent holders

Firms come in at No. 2 and No. 7 on ranking by new filings last year
Aug 13,2019
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Both Samsung and LG Electronics ranked within the 10 companies that filed the most U.S. patents last year, according to data from the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO).

According to its “Top 300 Organizations Granted U.S. Patents 2018” list released last month, Samsung came second with 5,836 new patents last year. This is the 12th consecutive year that the company has ranked second on the list. IBM came first place with 9,088 patents.

LG Electronics was in seventh place on the list, with 2,473 new U.S. patents last year. This was the third consecutive year that LG made it into the top 10. Despite the annual figure having dropped 9 percent on year, its rank climbed one step up from 2017.

Apart from the two Korean companies, there were six U.S. companies in the top 10, including Intel, Alphabet and Microsoft, as well as one Japanese and one Taiwanese firm.

Canon was the sole Japanese company to rank within the top 10. It came in third with 3,206 patents.

Japan’s share of the top list for 2018 has shrunk dramatically over the last decade. The same IPO ranks for 2008 showed six Japanese companies ranking inside the top 10: Hitachi, Canon, Panasonic, Toshiba, Fujitsu and Sony.

Apart from Canon, most of those companies now rank between 18th and 34th. Even as recently as 2013, five of the six companies - excluding Fujitsu - were in the top 10.

The advances of Chinese manufacturers were noticeable as well. Huawei was ranked 19th last year. It filed 1,680 patents, a 12.4 percent jump from 2017. Five years ago, it was at No. 59. BOE Technology Group, a Chinese manufacturer of Internet of Things technology, followed Huawei at rank No. 20 with 1,625 patents.

Other Korean companies that made it onto the recent list were Samsung Display (17th), Hyundai Motor (22nd), SK Hynix (45th), LG Display (53rd), LG Chem (61st) and LG Innotek (87th).

Every year, the association lists the top 300 U.S. companies for patent registration based on data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The IPO states in the report, however, that the number of patents don’t necessarily indicate the company’s technology level or whether more patents is preferable.

BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]