PatentCafe Releases Annual List of Top 200 Organizations Receiving U.S. Patents

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PatentCafeÂ?s Top 10 ranking features differences from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's list.

PatentCafe today released the IP200, which includes four lists of the top 200 corporations receiving U.S. patents, publishing U.S. patent applications and the top 200 intellectual property law firms based on patents and published patent applications. The IP200 is published in PatentCafe’s Intellectual Property and Technology Magazine.

PatentCafe’s Top 10 list differs from the Top 10 list of private sector patent recipients for 2004 as published by the Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

PatentCafe’s Top 10 List: (Ranking as listed by the USPTO is shown with the(*))

(1) (1*) International Business Machines Corporation – 3,254

(2) (2*) Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. - 2,174

(3) (8*) Hitachi, Ltd. - 2,041

(4) (6*) Samsung - 1,934

(5) (3*) Canon Kabushiki Kaisha – 1,875

(6) (4*) Hewlett-Packard Company – 1,836

(7) (5*) Micron Technology, Inc. - 1,764

(8) (10*) Sony Corporation – 1,686

(9) (7*) Intel Corporation – 1,604

(10) (--*) Fujitsu Limited – 1,465 (not listed in Top 10 by USPTO)

Why the variation between PatentCafe and the USPTO?

Andy Gibbs, PatentCafe CEO explains “The US Patent Office is not required to merge subsidiary relationships into the parent corporation. The USPTO did merge Compac’s patents into the Hewlett Packard total, but did not carry the process through to all other patent recipients. PatentCafe has created a concordance that ties subsidiary patents to parent corporations. The process provides a truer picture of global competitive technology positioning.”

It is interesting to note that the USPTO’s total patent numbers are smaller for many of the Top 10 than PatentCafe’s figures. Because of the Patent Office’s OCR conversion from paper to digital data, errors are often carried along, making searching nearly impossible. Other human errors contribute to the confusion in reliably tracking a company’s technology performance.

The data error problem affects the patent law firms as well. Patent law firm Young and Thompson found that the USPTO attributed 1,014 patents to their credit in 2004. PatentCafe’s numbers showed 1,015, highlighting one patent listing Young and Thompson as “Young and Thomspon”. PatentCafe’s filter, name concordance, and Latent Semantic Analysis technology identified the errant patent, and credited the law firm appropriately. Discrepancies between USPTO and PatentCafe figures may be the result of similar patent data errors.

The 2005 patent landscape is changing.

PatentCafe also tracks published applications. The USPTO begins publishing U.S. patent applications 18 months after the patent was filed. Although it may take years for a pending patent to actually issue as a granted U.S. patent, following the application trend of companies in any particular industry segment portends the patent issuance, and patent ranking, by commercial organizations in future years. Long term product and investment strategy hinges on access to this kind of information. Hypothetically, if all U.S. patent applications published in 2004 issue as granted patents, the Top 10 List would look greatly different. Please visit to view the PatentCafe Top 10 List for corporations with pending patent applications and the Top 10 list for patent-filing law firms.

Business and investment strategy in the high tech sector depends on information knowledge. Patent activity is one data source, if properly utilized, which can provide significant visibility of future corporate technology or marketing trends, and perhaps, value. Reliable data remains the key to support any decision-process.

With more than 85% of the market cap of the Fortune 500 companies resting in intangible asset value, its becoming increasingly important to know the competitive global technology landscape. Mining patent data for business information is becoming increasingly easy with more sophisticated search technologies such as PatentCafe’s semantic tools.

What was once the domain of competitive product position, business intelligence has moved into the realm of patent positioning, and 2004 closes out with impressive technology leaders leaving a strong statement to future technology growth.

About PatentCafe, Inc. is a privately-held provider of intellectual property management resources for industry. Through its network of 6 web properties, it provides the broadest collection of software and patent management solutions for enterprise, international patent data, IP news, and invention resources. The IP200™ patent lists are in incorporated in, the weekly Intellectual Property and Technology Magazine published weekly by PatentCafe.

For more information, contact:, Inc.

Elena Lowe, Editor

441 Colusa Avenue

Yuba City, CA 95991


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