The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) says that these patents are “Issued for the invention of a new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or a new and useful improvement thereof.” The patent permits its owner to prevent others from making, using, or selling the invention for as long as 20 years from the date of the patent. A utility patent can be used to protect software (what the software does) while a design patent protects the design of the software’s user interface.
Samsung, the manufacturer of the Galaxy Z Fold 4, finally topped IBM and received the most utility patents in the U.S. last year
While IBM has generated $27 billion in royalty payments for licensing its intellectual property from 1996 to 2022, starting in 2020 the company made a big decision. IBM research head Dario Gil said, “We decided to no longer pursue numeric patent leadership, but remain an intellectual property powerhouse and continue to have one of the strongest portfolios in the world in our priority technologies.” IBM is now believed to be focusing on receiving U.S. patents for AI chips, hybrid cloud computing, cyber security, and quantum computing.
Canon KK was fifth as the number of utility patents it received in the U.S. during 2022 declined 10% to 3,046. And in sixth place was Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. LTD better known as TSMC. The world’s largest chip foundry was awarded 3,038 utility patents in the U.S. last year, a gain of 8%.