The Top Technology Companies Driving Innovation Across the Globe

U.S tech companies have been the driving forces behind innovation in America for over two hundred years. Together IBM (NYSE:IBM) and General Electric (NYSE:GE) have filed over 1.5 million patents, 60 times the number filed by the U.S. government. 

Abroad there’s a similar story. While IBM and GE rank first and third for patents filed, Japanese corporations like Canon, Hitachi and Mitsubishi make up the rest of the top ten.

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Breakthrough patents improve the world and earn billions of dollars for these companies.

#15 Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

#15 Intel

Image: Intel

Patents filed in America: 19,539Patents granted in 2010:1,652 (#8)

Some of Intel’s inventions include the first single chip microprocessor, one of the firsts microcomputers, dynamic random access memory chips and the supercomputers.

Source: US Patent and Trademark Office

#14 Motorola (NYSE:MMI)(NYSE:MSI)

#14 Motorola

Image: Motorola

Patents filed in America: 20,069Patents granted in 2010: 395 (#64)

Motorola’s most famous inventions include the world’s first commercial portable cellular phone, the portable transistor radio, the portable television, and car telephones.

Source: US Patent and Trademark Office

#13 Siemens (NYSE:SI)

#13 Siemens

Image: Siemens

Patents filed in America: 21,628Patents granted in 2010: 861 (#24)

Some of Siemens’ inventions include the first electric streetcar, the dust-suction pump, the rolling mill motor, the first cardiac pacemaker, and the shirt ironing machine.

Source: US Patent and Trademark Office

#12 Mitsubishi (NYSE:MTU)

#12 Mitsubishi

Image: Mitsubishi

Patents filed in America: 22,397Patents granted in 2010: 692 (#37)

Some of Mitsubishi’s inventions include the first rear-projection TV,  a blow-by-gas reduction device, PBS trim plastic, and the jet towel.

Source: US Patent and Trademark Office

#11 Kodak (NYSE:EK)

#11 Kodak

Image: Flickr

Patents filed in America: 22,506Patents granted in 2010: 352 (#73)

Some of Kodak’s inventions include the first commercial transparent roll of film, the brownie cameras –the first series of inexpensive cameras, pocket-sized digital cameras, and film that could be developed without the use of a dark room.

Source: US Patent and Trademark Office

#10 Fujitsu

#10 Fujitsu

Image: Fujitsu

Patents filed in America: 23,049Patents granted in 2010:1,276 (#13)

Some of Fujitsu’s inventions include Japan’s first submarine coaxial cable system, the first 42-inch color plasma display, biodegradable plastic in notebook computers and the FACOM 230-60, a computer developed in 1968 with a multiprocessor system.

Source: US Patent and Trademark Office

#9 NEC Corp.

#9 NEC Corp.

Image: NEC

Patents filed in America: 23,932Patents granted in 2010: 652 (#53)

Some of NEC’s inventions include the common battery switchboard, chips that enable cellphones as music players, the first digital signal processor and the microcomputer.

Source: US Patent and Trademark Office

#8 Matsushita

#8 Matsushita

Image: Panasonic

Patents filed in America: 26,967Patents granted in 2010: 13 (NA)

Matsushita’s most famous inventions include the super electric iron, the double outlet plug, the electric blender, the tape recorder, and the electric refrigerator.

Source: US Patent and Trademark Office

#7 Sony (NYSE:SNE)

#7 Sony

Image: Sony

Patents filed in America: 27,211Patents granted in 2010: 2,130 (#7)

Some of Sony’s inventions include the Walkman, the first portable CD player, the first non-projection portable transistor TV, and Japan’s first transistor radio and magnetic recording tape.

Source: US Patent and Trademark Office

#6 Samsung

#6 Samsung

Image: Samsung

Patents filed in America: 31,156Patents granted in 2010: 4,518 (#2)

Some of Samsung’s inventions include the first microwave oven, the first 8mm VCR, the 1Giga Flash memory prototype, and first mobile phone that doubles as an MP3 player.

Source: US Patent and Trademark Office

#5 Toshiba

#5 Toshiba

Image: Toshiba

Patents filed in America: 32,793Patents granted in 2010: 2,212 (#6)

Toshiba’s most famous inventions include Japan’s first electric washing machines and vacuum cleaners, the first color video phone, and the first laptop personal computer.

Source: US Patent and Trademark Office

#4 Hitachi

#4 Hitachi

Image: Hitachi

Patents granted since 1963: 34,554Patents granted in 2010: 1,447 (#11)

Some of Hitachis’ inventions include the five-horsepower motor, the first large-scale DC electric locomotive, the smallest contactless chip, and an interactive robot that can serve as a tour guide.

Source: US Patent and Trademark Office

#3 General Electric (NYSE:GE)

#3 General Electric

Image: General Electric

Patents filed in America: 37,268Patents granted in 2010: 1,222 (#14)

Some of GE’s inventions include the carbon filament lamp, the X-ray machine, the electric fan, the first sealed fridge, the portable air-conditioner and the digital clock radio.

Source: US Patent and Trademark Office

#2 CANON (NYSE:CAJ)

#2 CANON

Image: Canon

Patents filed in America: 41,268Patents granted in 2010: 2,551 (#4)

Canon’s most famous inventions include the IVSB camera –the first marketed in the US, the 10-key electronic calculator, the first automatics exposure SLR, and personal copiers.

Source: US Patent and Trademark Office

#1 IBM (NYSE:IBM)

#1 IBM

Image: IBM

Patents filed in America: 67,199Patents granted in 2010: 5,866 (#1)

IBM’s most famous inventions include the magnetic stripe technology (like the one on credit cards), the computing scale, the universal product code (or barcode), and automated test scoring.

Source: US Patent and Trademark Office

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