Patexia Insight 108: Companies with the Largest Growth or Decline in Patents (2021)
Tomorrow, we are releasing our Third Annual Patent Prosecution Intelligence Report, where we have analyzed the patent prosecution data for five consecutive years (2016-2020), covering various statistics related to the USPTO, Technology Centers, Art Units, Examiners, Law Firms and Corporations. The report also includes the growth and decline of most active law firms and companies.
Last week we covered the top firms with the largest growth or decline in patent work in 2020 (Patexia Insight 107). This week, we turn our attention to those corporations with the largest growth or decline in the number of patents obtained in 2020 (compared to 2019).
This article closely inspects the patent data related to IP-intensive companies, including the volume of patents obtained by these corporations during 2019 and 2020. The goal is to identify those companies that had the largest growth or decline in volume of patents obtained in 2020 compared to 2019.
Companies with the Largest Growth
In 2020, a total of 498,389 patent applications and 391,353 patents were published. Similar to our evaluation of law firms, we only considered the top 1,000 most active companies in 2020 and compared the volume of patents for them with what they had obtained in 2019. To make a fair assessment, we measured the absolute change in the volume instead of percentage of growth or decline. The following bar chart illustrates the top five companies with the largest growth in 2020.
A couple of observations:
All five companies are in the tech sector (semiconductor, e-commerce, consumer electronics and automotive)
The first three companies are headquartered in Asia (China, Taiwan and Korea, respectively).
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), on the other hand, as the largest semiconductor manufacturer in the world, has been in the spotlight all throughout 2020. This was mainly due to the global chip shortage. But the company remains at the center of geopolitical conflicts between Taiwan, China and the US in that region as the situation has exacerbated in recent months and the technology/economic war between the two superpowers has intensified. In the meantime, the company seems to have expanded its R&D as judged by their patent activity. TSMC obtained 2,345 patents in 2019 versus 2,825 patents in 2020, which represents a 20 percent increase. TSMC utilizes the law firm Haynes & Boone, LLP as well as Slater Matsil and Eschweiler & Potashnik.
The table below summarizes the companies with the largest growth and decline with additional details including the number of patents they obtained in 2019 and 2020 followed by the change in these two years.