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Top Patent Recipients and Emerging Technology Trends in the US in 2017 Announced by IFI Claims

24th January 2018
By Katy Alexander

2017 was a busy year for the U.S. Patent and Trademark office (USPTO), which issued 320,003 utility grants, according to IFI Claims, up 5.2 percent from the previous year and more than double the 157,284 granted in 2007.

  • IBM marks 25th anniversary as list leader
  • U.S. grants hit record high and double from a decade ago
  • Trending Technologies: e-cigarettes, 3D printing, machine learning & autonomous vehicles

Mike Baycroft, CEO, IFI CLAIMS Patent Services said,

“2017 was an impressive year for U.S. patents. We’re seeing twice as many patents generated today as there were a decade ago. We’re seeing IBM nearly tripling its annual patent counts by going from 3,000 plus in 2007 to breaking the 9,000 mark this past year.”

Many leading companies from 2016 continued to dominate in 2017. Facebook and BOE Technology Group made large gains.

  • IBM received the most utility grants in 2017. Their total of 9,045 is a 12% increase over their 8,088 total in 2016.
  • Among companies that received the most patents, Intel Corp and LG Electronics both moved up two places in the rankings – putting them at #4 and #5 in IFI Claims’ rankings.
  • BOE Technology Group made a big jump from #40 in 2016 to #21 in 2017. Based in Beijing, BOE produces display and sensing devices.
  • Facebook Inc jumped into the Top 50.  Their 660 utility grants give them a ranking of #50 – an impressive increase over their #86 ranking in 2016.

Top 10 Patent Assignees

View the Top 50 list of US patent assignees to see more companies.

The analysis also included a report on the fast growing technologies. The new high-growth areas include e-cigarettes, 3D-printing, machine learning, autonomous vehicles, moulding materials, hybrid vehicles, aerial drones, and food. These are not the largest patent classifications but the ones that have shown the fastest growth over the last five years.

The automotive sector is rapidly developing new technologies, including patents in areas such as unmanned vehicle navigation and advanced manufacturing technology.

  • Companies showing impressive gains are Japanese automobile parts manufacturer Denso Corp (#35 with an increase of 23% grants from 2016), Honeywell International (#39 with an increase of 27%), Halliburton Energy Services (#44 with an increase of 35%) and Chinese Shenzhen China Star Optoelctronics (#45 with an increase of 44%).
  • Toyota, Ford, and Hyundai also showed sizable growth.

The computing, telecommunications, and medical patent classifications continue to be strong.

  • Computers (G06F) and telecommunications (H04L) remained in the top two spots.
  • 2017 saw a big jump in specific types of data processing systems (patent class G06Q). This business methods patent class has been volatile over the last few years due to recent court decisions regarding patentability.
  • Pharmaceuticals (A61K) and Diagnostics/Surgical (A61B) showed healthy gains.

Find out more information about IFI Claims and their annual list here.



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