Apple Ranks Seventh With Over 2,500 U.S. Patents Granted in 2021

Apple was granted 2,541 patents in the United States last year, surpassed by only six other companies, IFI Claims reports.

apple logo us flag smooth
In its rankings of the top 50 U.S. patent assignees in 2021 (via Patently Apple), IFI Claims Patent Services shows that Apple was granted 250 fewer patents in 2021 compared to the previous year, a nine percent decrease. Even so, Apple moved one place up the rankings in 2021.

Apple's number of granted patents was surpassed by IBM, Samsung, Canon, TSMC, Huawei, and Intel. Excluding IBM and Samsung, the following top ten companies had 2,000 to 3,000 granted patents. IBM and Samsung dwarfed the other top companies, with 8,682 and 6,366 patents granted respectively.

Out of its direct competitors, Apple still had more patents granted than LG, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Samsung Display, Amazon, Sony, and Google. The top 20 companies with the most patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2021 are as follows:

  1. International Business Machines Corp: 8,682 patents granted
  2. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd: 6,366 patents granted
  3. Canon Inc: 3,021 patents granted
  4. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co TSMC Ltd: 2,798 patents granted
  5. Huawei Technologies Co Ltd: 2,770 patents granted
  6. Intel Corp: 2,615 patents granted
  7. Apple Inc: 2,541 patents granted
  8. LG Electronics Inc: 2,487 patents granted
  9. Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC: 2,418 patents granted
  10. Qualcomm Inc: 2,149 patents granted
  11. BOE Technology Group Co Ltd: 2,135 patents granted
  12. Toyota Motor Corp: 2,028 patents granted
  13. Samsung Display Co Ltd: 1,975 patents granted
  14. Amazon Technologies Inc: 1,942 patents granted
  15. Micron Technology Inc: 1,789 patents granted
  16. Sony Corp: 1,683 patents granted
  17. Ford Global Technologies LLC: 1,626 patents granted
  18. Google LLC: 1,493 patents granted
  19. Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson AB: 1,387 patents granted
  20. Hyundai Motor Co: 1,269 patents granted

IFI Claims' 2021 Global 250 rankings reveal the world's largest patent holders by looking at all of the patents currently held by companies. In these rankings, Apple takes 37th place, with 20,491 active patents. Samsung is currently the world leader for active patents, with 90,416 in total. Microsoft, LG, Sony, Intel, and Qualcomm also beat Apple in terms of global active patents.

Apple's patent filings often reveal interesting insights into the company's specific areas of research and development, but they are not representative of its immediate plans. Recent interesting Apple filings include designs for all-glass iPhones and Apple Watches, a removable MacBook key that works as a mouse, user authentication technology for AirPods, a hydration sensor for the Apple Watch, use of the Mac Pro's "cheese grater" like design on other Apple devices, periscope camera systems, and deployable MacBook Pro feet to aid cooling.

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Top Rated Comments

anthogag Avatar
30 months ago
Where is Xiaomi in this list...
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
w5jck Avatar
30 months ago
I worked at IBM back in the 1990s. IBM patents everything! Most of the patents probably don't mean much, but they get patents anyway. It was rather a joke inside the company. I'm thinking the same is true for Samsung. I think patent laws should be changed so that frivolous patent applications get rejected.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
30 months ago
Shocking! Samsung Electronics owns so many U.S. Patents. Based on this, there is going to be a day where Apple will be buying future patents from Samsung directly since they own so many patents.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
emmab2006 Avatar
30 months ago
So now were bragging over how many Patents we have….. i mean really?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RickDEGH Avatar
30 months ago
Patent minefields, patent attorneys for the win.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
H2SO4 Avatar
30 months ago

Trumps my one patent issued last year. :D
Id actually like to understand the humour behind this.
I know, I’m blind but I just can’t see it.
Appreciate your help here.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)