Innovative Companies Ranked Based on Patents

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In our previous post, we covered a few companies that were highly ranked based on their innovation. The rankings were based on three main criteria: technological networking, digitization of products and processes, as well as technological dynamics. All these are measured based on the patent assets of top companies.

Understanding the patents that companies have been granted or have applied for allows us to gain an overview of how these global companies are shaping their industries. By looking at both the utility and design patents that companies have filed for or already own, they can better understand new technologies, products, and services that the companies offer to the market.

Here are three more companies that are changing their industries, based on their patent filings:


Intel was one of the companies granted the most US patents in 2020. It was granted 2,867 that year. The company now owns more than 70,000 patent assets worldwide.

As a global technology company, Intel acknowledges that innovation is central to its business. This is why it takes the necessary precautions to protect its assets. Aside from patents, Intel also takes the necessary steps to register its copyrights and trade secrets. The company also pushes for a “balanced, fair approach to IP systems” so that IP law can continue to incentivize innovation.

Among Intel’s patent assets, more than 40,000 are patent grants, while the rest remain as applications. The company increased its patent filing efforts in 2010, reaching its peak between 2015-2016.

Close to 30,000 assets in Intel’s portfolio were granted in the US. However, the company also has a strong presence in Asia. This is reflected in the patents granted in different Asian countries. Out of Intel’s 70,000 patents, more than 6,000 were granted in China, close to 3,000 were granted in Japan, and more than 2,000 in South Korea.


Currently one of the largest global software and programming companies, Microsoft is also on the list of companies with the most number of patents granted in the US. It was granted 3,083 patents in 2019 and 2,905 in 2020. The company was the fourth US company with the most number of patents granted during both years.

Microsoft also maintains a global patent portfolio, which includes a total of around 60,000 patents and close to 40,000 pending patent applications.

The company launched Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC (MTL) in 2015, a subsidiary that manages the company’s patent assets. According to Microsoft, the company invests more than $11 billion yearly in research and development so that Microsoft can safely distribute innovative software, devices, and services to the market.

Microsoft’s innovations also regularly make the news. Some of Microsoft’s most recent patents include a system to monitor and score employees' body language during meetings, which was granted in 2020. Another is an app feature that measures employees’ “wellness biometrics,” such as blood pressure and heart rates, to determine when workers are becoming anxious and need to take a break. This was filed in 2019 and was granted in 2021.

Another patent grant that made the news was for a chatbot that reconstructs the personality of deceased loved ones. This is done by analyzing social media data such as images, wall posts, messages, and voice data. It was filed in 2017 and was granted in 2020.

Since Microsoft regularly launches innovative technology solutions, they take all necessary steps to protect their intellectual property. According to a company statement, Microsoft acknowledges that “drafting and prosecuting high-quality patent applications is key to that success.” IP protection ensures that Microsoft’s R&D investments can continue to provide value and benefit to their business ecosystem, as well as their shareholders.


Ford Motor Company ranks first in the list of the most innovative automobile manufacturers.

In 2019, Ford was granted 2,123 US patents, three times the number of patents it was granted in 2013. The company now has more than 20,000 active patent families and more than 10% of these are related to new digital technologies.

Many of Ford’s patent grants focus on improving passenger safety, including the communication between vehicles and passengers. For example, many of the patents are related to improving in-vehicle operating systems, monitoring the driver’s health in autonomous vehicles, and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication. They have also introduced new technologies for better
automated driving and cruise control.

Some of Ford’s most recent patent applications are geared towards improving electric vehicles. In December 2020, the company filed for a patent for a technology that allows an electric vehicle to charge while being towed by another car.

Final Thoughts

Innovation allows a global company to better adapt and scale by improving its operations and processes. Innovation also allows them to offer new and improved products and services to the market.

One way to measure innovation is to look at the new technology that a company develops. This means looking at the patents that a company currently has filed or has been granted.

Industries are constantly shaped by Innovation. However, the most innovative companies need to protect their intellectual property so they can continue to bring new ideas, products, and services to the market.

IP protection not only serves as an indicator of innovation, they also provide the right protection and framework so that companies can keep on moving forward.

Categories: Patents