Pedram Sameni
Apr 20, 2023

Patexia Insight 175: Patent Powerhouses: Spotlight on Top Companies by Patent Activity

Patent Prosecution

In March, the fifth annual Patent Intelligence Report was released, which maps patent prosecution activity and provides an in-depth analysis of patenting trends. We've previously shared a few key takeaways from this report, including the rankings of countries that experienced the most significant growth or decline in originating patents (Patexia 173). Additionally, we've covered the top U.S. cities and states for biotech patents (Patexia 174). The report also identifies key players in various industries and ranks entities based on their activity and performance. This week we will shed light on some of the most active and best-performing companies that have applied for and received patents in the United States over the past five years.

Examining both patent application filings and issued patents is necessary to gain insight into overall patenting patterns. The USPTO publishes applications about 18 months after they are filed, so relying on published applications is necessary as a proxy for patent filing activity during a given period. In 2022, a total of 378,177 patent applications were published, as shown below. This figure has experienced an average decline of 0.6% per year over the past five years, and it dropped by 0.62% in 2022. The year 2019 saw the highest number of published applications at 433,841, while 2022 saw the least. On the other hand, the number of issued patents has grown at an average rate of 2.00% per year over the five-year period. However, the number of issued patents declined by 1.27% in 2022 compared to 2021. Notably, there was a 17.10% increase in the number of issued patents in 2019 when compared to 2018. The year 2019 had the highest number of patents issued at 395,456, while 2018 had the least with 337,697.

Over a five-year period, from January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2022, the Patent Intelligence Report analyzes the patent applications and grants of 130,458 entities, comprising both domestic and foreign applicants, in the United States. Based on this report, we have compiled a list of the top companies that have demonstrated excellence in patent prosecution. During the study period, we analyzed the level of activity of the most active companies in high-tech and biotech industries. We calculated an activity score for each of the three categories (high-tech, biotech, and overall) by considering the number of issued patents and filed applications. The table below presents the rankings and number of patents for the top five most active companies overall:


Activity Rank (Overall) Company All Patents Excluding Design

Samsung Electronics


2 International Business Machines 42,206

LG Electronics


4 Canon Inc. 17,199

Sony Group Corporation


IBM, which had been the leader in the rankings for holding the most patents in the U.S., was surpassed by Samsung in 2022. Samsung emerged as the most active company in both the overall and high-tech categories, having secured 44,767 patents (excluding design) in the past five years. IBM came in a close second with 42,206 patents. This change in ranking marks a shift in IBM's strategy, resulting in the company moving to second place. In the third place is LG with 18,830 patents, followed by Canon with 17,199 patents and Sony with 16,232 patents. Although they hold fewer patents than Samsung and IBM, they still have a substantial number, highlighting their importance in their respective industries and positioning them as significant players in the patenting landscape. It is worth mentioning that all of the above companies operate in industries that require significant innovation and technological development, such as electronics, computing, and telecommunications.

We have developed a methodology to evaluate the performance of companies, attorneys, and law firms in patent prosecution. This approach assigns a score based on factors such as success, quality, and activity to assess the performance of each entity. The table below indicates the rankings and performance scores for the top five companies in the best-performing overall category based on this methodology:


Performance Rank Company Performance Score %



2 Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company 88.35



4 Paypal 86.51

Ofinno Technologies, LLC


Comcast ranked number one with a final score of 89.70%, closely followed by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) with a score of 88.35%. The third spot was held by Sonos with a score of 87.69%, while PayPal and Ofinno Technologies secured the fourth and fifth spots with scores of 86.51% and 86.10%, respectively. The results indicate that these companies are highly effective in patent prosecution, achieving success in filing, and obtaining patents. Although these companies belong to different industries and sizes, they share a strong focus on innovation, investment in research and development, and a commitment to intellectual property protection through patent prosecution.

The complete Patent Intelligence Report offers rankings of the top 100 best-performing and most active companies across three categories: overall, high-tech, and biotech. Additionally, an accompanying Excel document includes a comprehensive list of the top 2,000 most active companies, along with their corresponding metrics.

Stay tuned for upcoming articles in the following weeks, where we will delve further into the key findings of the report and highlight the top attorneys and law firms from our previous Patent Litigation Report.