The Sqoop report contradicts a IFI Claims Patent Services report released yesterday concluding that IBM received the most patents in 2016, marking the 24th year in a row IBM has led that list. Sqoop reports that Samsung received 8,551 patents to IBM’s 8,062. Samsung also has more patent applications out, 10,695, than IBM’s 8,800.
Sqoop’s Founder and CEO Bill Hankes wrote in the report that Sqoop’s results differ from IFI’s because it seeks out subsidiaries and combines them under one umbrella. For example, patent totals for Microsoft include the proper company name as well as subsidiaries like Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC.
“A notable and symbolic result is that while longtime patent leader IBM applies for patents as a single company, Samsung applies under a large number of subsidiaries,” Hankes wrote. “When these subsidiaries are combined however, Samsung has displaced IBM with the top ranking for the last two years running.”
Sqoop published its first annual patent report last year and found Samsung ahead of IBM.
In this year’s list, Microsoft comes in at number 10, two spots behind its eighth place finish in the IFI report. Amazon was one of the biggest movers in 2016, jumping 12 places to number 14 on the Sqoop list. Also appearing in the report is Boeing, which came in at number 28.
Amazon made headlines for some pretty wild patent wins and applications in 2016, many of them focused on ways to speed up the delivery process. Through patent filings, the company released more information about how its much-anticipated drone delivery system might work. In 2016, Amazon patented voice-controlled drones, and filed applications for the ability to land them on vehicles for periods of time and on street signs equipped with charging stations. Amazon has patented flying drones around in a giant blimp and giving them the ability to link together to create one huge super drone. And if all else fails, Amazon could just build an underground network of tunnels for package delivery.
Microsoft didn’t create the same kind of buzz Amazon did through patents, but it did make some big patent-related deals in 2016. In February, Microsoft licensed a series of file storage-related patents to GoPro. Then in June, Chinese device maker Xiaomi agreed to acquire nearly 1,500 Microsoft patents and pre-install Office and Skype on its Android-based smartphones and tablets, giving the Redmond company’s apps a new channel to reach customers in China, India and other parts of the world.