RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – If you think IBM holds most US patents, that’s understandable. After all, Big Blue has been awarded the most patents for 25 consecutive years. But you would be wrong.

The No. 1 firm is Samsung.

So says the journal IAM, based on intelectual property data and information compiled by ktMINE.

“Korean company Samsung sits at the top of the tree, with 75,595 active assets as of 1st January 2018 – close to 30,000 more than IBM, which had 46,443,” reports IAM.

“Rounding off the top five are Canon, Microsoft and Intel. Between them these five businesses owned over 225,000 active patents on the first day of this year.”

So what’s the story? Patent abandonment, IAM says.

“That Samsung’s active portfolio is so much bigger than IBM’s may come as a surprise to many, given that Big Blue perennially tops the annual tables for most US patent grants received. It did so for the 25thconsecutive year in 2017.,” writes Joff Wild.

“However … IBM’s abandonment rate is particularly high and so many of the patents it receives do not stay in its portfolio for very long. Samsung, on the other hand, is more likely to keep hold of its rights – and, of course, is more active in more technology areas.”

Lenovo, by the way, cracks the top 100 at No. 93.

The top 10:

  1. Samsung
  2. IBM
  3. Canon
  4. Microsoft
  5. Intel
  6. Panasonic
  7. LG Electronics
  8. Sony Corporation
  9. Hitachi
  10. Toshiba

Read more online at IAM.

In January, IBM reported having earned the most patents for 2017, but data indicated that Samsung was cutting the gap.