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.
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:
- International Business Machines Corp: 8,682 patents granted
- Samsung Electronics Co Ltd: 6,366 patents granted
- Canon Inc: 3,021 patents granted
- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co TSMC Ltd: 2,798 patents granted
- Huawei Technologies Co Ltd: 2,770 patents granted
- Intel Corp: 2,615 patents granted
- Apple Inc: 2,541 patents granted
- LG Electronics Inc: 2,487 patents granted
- Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC: 2,418 patents granted
- Qualcomm Inc: 2,149 patents granted
- BOE Technology Group Co Ltd: 2,135 patents granted
- Toyota Motor Corp: 2,028 patents granted
- Samsung Display Co Ltd: 1,975 patents granted
- Amazon Technologies Inc: 1,942 patents granted
- Micron Technology Inc: 1,789 patents granted
- Sony Corp: 1,683 patents granted
- Ford Global Technologies LLC: 1,626 patents granted
- Google LLC: 1,493 patents granted
- Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson AB: 1,387 patents granted
- 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.