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(report dated 7-Jan-2005)

This report presents a preliminary list of the organizations receiving the most patents for invention (i.e., utility patents) during the 2004 calendar year.

For the twelfth consecutive year, International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) ranks first among non-Federal patenting organizations. IBM received 3,248 utility patents in 2004, slightly below its total of 3,415 patents for 2003. Three of the top five and four of the top seven patenting organizations on the list are U.S. organizations. The top ten list includes four U.S. organizations, five Japanese organizations, and one South Korean organization.

For 2004, U.S. organizations on the list of top ten patenting organizations include International Business Machines Corporation, Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. (fourth), Micron Technology, Inc. (fifth), and Intel Corporation (seventh). This year marks the fifth straight year for Micron Technology, Inc. and the second straight year for Intel Corporation and Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. on the top ten list.

Canon Kabushiki Kaisha drops from second to third position for the year, with 1,805 patents, while Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. moves up from fourth to second position with 1,934 patents. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. jumps from ninth position to sixth on the list while Hitachi, Ltd. drops from third to eighth position.

One new organization joins the top ten list for 2004, Toshiba Corporation, ranked ninth, while one organization, Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V., drops off the list.

Among the organizations receiving many patents in 2004, Renesas Technology Corporation, ranked fifteenth, is notable as it had received only a small number of patents the previous year. The web site for Renesas states that it was established in 2003 and includes paid in capital from both Hitachi, Ltd. and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation.

Organizations on the top ten list having the largest increases in the number of annual patent receipts include Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (up 22 percent from 2003), Toshiba Corporation (up 11 percent from 2003), and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (up 9 percent from 2003).

The U.S. Government received 829 utility patents for the year, which would rank it nineteenth among the top patenting organizations for 2004.

This table displays a preliminary listing of the top twenty non-Federal patenting organizations receiving utility patents in calendar year 2004. Patent receipts by the U.S. Government are also displayed.
Preliminary Rank
in 2004 *
Preliminary number
of patents
in 2004 *
Organization * (Final Rank
in 2003)
(Final number
of patents
in 2003)
1 3,248 International Business Machines Corporation (1) (3,415)
2 1,934 Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (a) (4) (1,774)
3 1,805 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha (2) (1,992)
4 1,775 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. (b) (5) (1,759)
5 1,760 Micron Technology, Inc. (6) (1,707)
6 1,604 Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (9) (1,313)
7 1,601 Intel Corporation (7) (1,592)
8 1,514 Hitachi, Ltd (3) (1,893)
9 1,310 Toshiba Corporation (13) (1,184)
10 1,305 Sony Corporation (10) (1,311)
11 1,296 Fujitsu Limited (11) (1,302)
12 1,217 Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. (8) (1,353)
13 1,025 Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd (17) (804)
14 976 General Electric Company (15) (1,139)
15 913 Renesas Technology Corporation (--) (20)
16 903 Robert Bosch Gmbh (20) (753)
17 898 Texas Instruments, Incorporated (18) (764)
18 839 Seiko Epson Corporation (18) (764)
19 813 NEC Corporation (14) (1,181)
20 802 Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (16) (905)
  829 U.S. GOVERNMENT   (881)


* The listed patent counts are preliminary counts which are subject to correction. The final listing of patent counts for the top patenting organizations in 2004 will be available in the Patenting By Organizations report that should be available in early April.

(a) Displayed calendar year counts for 2003 for Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. include 12 patents issued to Matsushita Electronics Corporation, which has been merged into the parent company.

(b) Displayed calendar year counts for 2003 for Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. include 403 patents issued to Hewlett-Packard Company, 23 patents issued to Compaq Computer Corporation Inc., and 41 patents issued to Compaq Information Technologies Group, L.P.

Please Note:
Patent information presented reflects patent ownership at patent grant and does not include ownership changes that occur after the patent grant. Where more than one assignee (owner) exists, patents are attributed to the first-named assignee.

Unless noted, no attempt has been made to combine data based on subsidiary relationships. However, where possible, spelling variations and variations based on name changes have been merged into a single name (e.g., ESSO to EXXON). While every effort is made to accurately identify all organizational entities and to report data by a single organization name, achievement of a totally clean record is not expected, particularly in view of the many variations that occur in corporate identifications.

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