The five companies that earned the most U.S. patents last year are the same five companies that dominated the 2015 ranking of top patent recipients: IBM, Samsung, Canon, Qualcomm and Google.
IBM earned the No. 1 slot for the 24th consecutive year with 8,088 patents granted to its inventors in 2016. Samsung, again ranked second, earned 5,518 patents, and Canon came away with 3,665. Rounding out the Top 5 just as they did in 2015 are Qualcomm with 2,897 patents and Google with 2,835 patents.
Overall, 2016 saw 304,126 utility patent grants, which is the most on record in a single year, according to data compiled by IFI CLAIMS Patent Services. IFI, which specializes in patent analysis, tracks utility patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and each year it releases its annual ranking of the top 50 recipients.