After 29 consecutive years at the top, IBM is replaced by Samsung in the U.S. patent league table

After 29 consecutive years at the top, IBM is replaced by Samsung in the U.S. patent league table
For the first time in 29 years, IBM did not register the most patents in the U.S. for the year. For 2022, that honor went to Samsung according to SamMobile. The Korean manufacturer received 8,513 utility patents in the U.S.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) says that these patents are "Issued for the invention of a new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or a new and useful improvement thereof." The patent permits its owner to prevent others from making, using, or selling the invention for as long as 20 years from the date of the patent. A utility patent can be used to protect software (what the software does) while a design patent protects the design of the software's user interface.

Samsung received close to the 8,517 U.S. utility patents that it was awarded in 2021. Behind Samsung was IBM followed by countrymate LG. The former registered 4,743 utility patents in the states during 2022 which amounted to a 44% decline from the 8,682 it received in 2021. IBM saw significantly lower patent registrations for semiconductors and hardware memory. LG saw its registered U.S. utility patent figure rise 5% for the year to 4,580.

While IBM has generated $27 billion in royalty payments for licensing its intellectual property from 1996 to 2022, starting in 2020 the company made a big decision. IBM research head Dario Gil said, "We decided to no longer pursue numeric patent leadership, but remain an intellectual property powerhouse and continue to have one of the strongest portfolios in the world in our priority technologies." IBM is now believed to be focusing on receiving U.S. patents for AI chips, hybrid cloud computing, cyber security, and quantum computing.

Samsung had been trailing IBM for several years even though it was awarded 8,000 or more patents every year in the states since 2017. 2022 was the year that Samsung finally became the leader in U.S. utility patents. After LG, Toyota Jidosha KK was fourth having received 3,056 utility patents last year from the USPTO for an 11% hike.

Canon KK was fifth as the number of utility patents it received in the U.S. during 2022 declined 10% to 3,046. And in sixth place was Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. LTD better known as TSMC. The world's largest chip foundry was awarded 3,038 utility patents in the U.S. last year, a gain of 8%.

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