Amazon Was the Biggest Gainer in Patents Last Year (AMZN, GOOG) Inc. (AMZN) is fast becoming a force to reckon with in the world of patents.  

According to the latest data released by the IFI Claims office, the Seattle company's patent count rose by 46% and it was the biggest gainer in terms of number of utility patents filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office (USPTO). With 1,662 patents granted in 2016, it was ranked fourteenth in the list of companies with most patents. Intel Corp (INTC) and Microsoft Corp (MSFT) were the other American companies that showed gains in their patent portfolio and were ranked seventh and ninth respectively in the list. (For more, see also: Patents Are Assets, So Learn How To Value Them.) 

As has been the case for the last 25 years, IBM Corp (IBM) held onto the top spot with a total number of 8,088 patents granted. It was followed by South Korean consumer electronics giant Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., which received a total of 5,518 patents, and Japanese manufacturer of optical products Canon Inc. (CAJ), which saw an 11% decline in its patent count, rounded out the top three companies. Alphabet Inc. subsidiary Google (GOOG) was ranked number 5 with 2,835 patents while Apple Inc. (AAPL) was at the eleventh position with 2,102 patents. 

Amazon’s performance is even more impressive when you consider that the company made its debut in the list at number 50 just two years ago. Its rapid rise is proof of the company’s ambitions in multiple arenas from grocery stores without checkouts to delivery drones and streaming services. A comprehensive patent portfolio will help bolster the company’s profits from its technology as well as help it earn more cash through licensing. (For more, see also: Can you Realize Capital Gains On Intangible Property?)   

Companies headquartered in the U.S. ranked first overall and held a substantial lead of 10,178 patents over their nearest competitors in Japan. Although they were far behind the leaders with 2,072 patents granted, Chinese companies are emerging as a force to reckon with in the patent world. Their 2016 figures marked a growth of 158.68% in 2016 as compared to 2015.  

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