According to data compiled by IFI Claims Patent Services, 308,853 US utility patents were granted in 2018, representing a 3.5% decline from 2017’s record year. However, the number of pre-grant publications increased in 2018 from 2017, indicating that US patent activity remains strong. IBM retains its record for obtaining the most patents in a year for the 26th year in a row.
IBM secured 9,100 US patents in 2018. Many of these patents relate to artificial intelligence and quantum computing. Samsung ranked second with 5,850 granted patents. Other significant patentees include: Canon (3,056), Intel (2,735), LG (2,474), Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (2,465), and Microsoft (2,353).