IBM Tops Apple and Microsoft to Take U.S. Patent Crown

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- IBM (IBM) received the most U.S. patents in 2013, according to data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and IFI Claims patent service, as the hardware, software and services giant continued its aggressive pace of innovation.

The tech bellwether was comfortably ahead of Samsung, Canon, Sony (SNE) and Microsoft (MSFT), which leapfrogged Panasonic to take fifth place. Google (GOOG) and Apple (AAPL) climbed to 11th and 13th place, respectively, in the annual list.

This is the 21st consecutive year that IBM has led the ranking of U.S. patent leaders. The Armonk, N.Y.-based company was awarded 6,809 patents in 2013, up slightly from 6,478 in 2012. Here's the top 10 list of 2013 patent winners:

  1. IBM 6,809
  2. Samsung 4,676
  3. Canon 3,825
  4. Sony 3,098
  5. Microsoft 2,660
  6. Panasonic 2,601
  7. Toshiba 2,416
  8. Hon Hai 2,279
  9. Qualcomm 2,103
  10. LG Electronics 1,947

There were plenty of other tech heavyweights on the list. Google was awarded 1,851 patents in 2013, a sharp increase from 1,151 in 2012, when it took 21st place on the list. Apple, with 1,775 patents, has also increased its pace of innovation from 2012, when it was awarded 1,136 patents and held 22nd place.

Intel (INTC), HP (HPQ) and BlackBerry (BBRY) were in 18th, 19th and 20th place, respectively, in the 2013 list. Chipmaker Intel was awarded 1,455 patents, up from 1,290 last year. HP, which is in the throes of a massive corporate overhaul, brought in 1,360 patents, down slightly from 1,394 in 2012. Embattled smartphone maker BlackBerry received 1,334 patents in 2013, a significant increase from 986 in 2012, when it operated as Research In Motion.

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