The Most Innovative Companies Based on Their Patents
January 5th, 2022
Innovation is one of the factors that lets a company adapt and scale. It allows a business to improve its operations and processes. Innovation also allows a company to offer new and improved products and services to the market.
The term “innovation” can be vague, however. How can a company’s innovation be measured?
One way to do this is to see how much new technology a company develops. This means looking at the patents that a company currently has or is applying for.
This is how Swiss research firm EconSight ranks companies based on their innovation. They publish the EconSight Ranking annually to shed light on which global companies are shaping their industries.
The ranking is based on three main criteria. Technological networking is based on how the company is able to link its existing technologies. Digitization of products and processes is also considered. Dynamics is also a factor, which pertains to how rapidly a company changes its technological tools, as well as the potential of its new technologies to disrupt their specific industries.
All of these are measured based on the company’s patents.
Here is a closer look at three companies with a high potential to change their industries:
Samsung is currently one of the most innovative companies in the world. It currently holds the most number of patents in the United States. It topped the list for the number of utility patent grants applied for, the number of utility patent applications granted, and the number of design patents published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Samsung was granted more than 9,000 patents in 2020 alone, with an average of 175 patents per week.
Research also shows that Samsung is the leader in patents granted for 5G technology. It has almost 2,800 patents under the 5G patent family, which places Samsung at the forefront of telecommunication.
According to Sunghyun Choi, Senior Vice President at Samsung Research, the global company is committing to “spearhead the development of next-generation telecommunication technologies that will transform our daily lives in future.”
Johnson & Johnson
Medical device and pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson currently has over 3,000 patents. In a 2020 report, the company stated that intellectual property protections are what help Johnson & Johnson provide a framework for “the development of innovative and life-changing treatments, cures, and other healthcare technologies.”
IP protections also help ensure that healthcare companies can safely invest in cutting-edge research, given that the development of new medicines and treatments is resource-intensive.
Research also shows that Johnson & Johnson currently holds the top spot in terms of the most patents owned for antivirals for coronavirus and related virus families. The company has over 500 patents, while the other companies on the list only have over 200 patents each.
Johnson & Johnson is also embracing digitalization, which led to the company being ranked as the top innovator in medical technologies. Some of the new technologies that the company is incorporating in medical technology include artificial intelligence and image analysis.
LG Electronics currently has over 284,000 patent applications in its patent portfolio. Among the patents granted, however, LG covers only 25,966 patent families under the telecommunications category. This is about half the number of Samsung’s approved telecommunication patents, as Samsung currently has 57,452.
What propels LG into the top three is that it holds the most number of patents for LTE and 5G approved by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute. Among the ETSI-declared patents for LTE and 5G SEP families, LG owns the majority, with 20.94%. Samsung, on the other hand, has 8.29%.
Most of LG’s 5G technology, however, is still in the early stages of development and implementation. This is why many of its patent applications are still pending.
Currently, LG is also doing its best to defend its mobile-related patents, despite the company’s exit from the global smartphone market. The company aims to protect its IP in order to ensure revenue from its research and development, as well as proprietary power.
According to LG officials, many other smartphone manufacturers are currently using LG’s LTE patents without paying royalties.
“As we hold a number of universal patents whose standard essentiality is recognized by global courts, we will aggressively take legal actions against companies using our technologies without a license,” said an LG official through a company statement.
The term “innovation” may be difficult to measure. However, it is one of the factors that allows a company to improve its processes and offer new products and services to the market. One way that innovation can be measured is by looking at the number of patents the company owns. How the patents may be linked to one another is also important. The potential of the patents to change the company’s industry must also be considered.
Samsung currently holds the most number of patents in the US, with the most utility and design patents of all other companies. Johnson & Johnson is the leader for coronavirus antivirals, as well as medical technology. LG has the most ETSI-declared patents for LTE and 5G SEP families but is facing legal battles to defend its IP from other technology companies.
Innovation is what drives industries forward. Patents serve as a good indicator of a company’s ability to innovate. They also provide the right protection and framework so companies can keep on offering new ideas, products, and services to their markets.