Patents count in today’s age are considered, in many ways, the measurement to evaluate the owner’s innovative approach to its inventions. Specially if you look at the smartphone and telecom equipment industry.
If this is true, then Canon is far more innovative than any of the popular technology pioneers like Google, Intel, Microsoft and Apple. According to the figures from IFI CLAIM, Canon was granted far more patents than these well-known companies and was ranked 3rd after IBM at top and Samsung Electronics 2nd.
According to numbers, IBM was granted 8,088 patents in 2016 followed by Samsung Electronics and Canon with 5,518 and 3,665 patents respectively. Qualcomm, Google, Intel, LG and Microsoft followed at number 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. While the one considered most innovative with its owned patents – Apple was at number 11 with just over 2000 patents in 2016 in the race.
Comparing with the camera industry leaders, Nikon was no where among top 50 patent grantees. Whereas Ricoh ranked 21st and Fujifilms was granted 48th most patents last year.
“The first critical element towards developing remarkable solutions that move the needle for consumers and business industries alike is research and development,” said Seymour Liebman, executive vice president, chief administrative officer, and general counsel for Canon USA Inc. “This strong showing of patents granted year after year allow us to build intelligent products and solutions for the future, turning great ideas into reality.”
Patent filings are not directly proportional to the new products launches by one company, it indeed shows how much a company is investing in research and development. Even most of those patented solutions do not come to life but they do exist in portfolio of the company as their assets. For instance, in this specific case, Canon didn’t only patented the technologies in cameras and lenses but also the printers, projectors and calculators.