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Canon earned more than 3,000 patents in 2018, behind only IBM and Samsung

Melville-based Canon U.S.A. ranks third among companies receiving

Melville-based Canon U.S.A. ranks third among companies receiving patent grants in 2018, according to IFI Claims Patent Services. Credit: Barry Sloan

Canon, the camera and office-machine giant whose Americas headquarters is in Melville, received the third-most U.S. patents last year, behind IBM and Samsung Electronics, according to new data.

IFI Claims Patent Services, an information company, said Canon was granted 3,056 patents in 2018. The Japanese company had more patents in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, but it still ranked No. 3 in each year.

IBM topped the 2018 list, receiving 9,100 patents, according to IFI in New Haven, Connecticut.

IBM, which is headquartered in Armonk in Westchester County, has led the listing for 26 consecutive years and was one of a few companies to increase its patents between 2017 and last year, when the total number of patents fell overall. 

“After many years of growth, we’re seeing a decline in U.S. patent grants for 2018,” said IFI CEO Mike Baycroft. “We expect that to be temporary because applications are up from last year.”

He said 2017 saw a record 320,003 patents granted compared with 2018's 308,853.

Korean electronics giant Samsung had the second-most patents in 2018, at 5,850, and Intel was No. 4 with 2,735.

Since 2006, Canon has been third on the patent list in all but two years, 2009 and 2010, when it fell to No. 4.

"The secret to the success behind Canon is that it is always reinventing its approach to innovation, as evident through our continually high rankings in the IFI's annual patent reports," Seymour Liebman said Tuesday.  The senior managing executive and Canon U.S.A.'s chief administrative officer and general counsel added, "We are proud of our strong standing among fellow tech giants."

IFI also released its first-ever ranking of companies with the largest number of active patent "families," which consist of a set of patent publications filed around the world to cover a single invention.

Canon placed No. 2 on this list with 34,905 active patent families. Samsung was No. 1 with 61,608 and IBM was No. 3 with 34,376.

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