Apple is number 11 in 2015 U.S. patent rankings

IFI Claims Patent Services, a producer of global patent databases and innovative web services, has announced its annual tabulation of the top U.S. patent recipients, a ranking that is trusted throughout the world. The 2015 IFI CLAIMS U.S. Top 50 ranks global patent assignees by utility patent counts.

Apple’s counts decreased 3% over 2014 to 1,938. However, its ranking went unchanged as its in 11th place, following IBM, Samsung, Canon, Qualcomm, Google, Toshiba, Sony, LG, Intel, and Microsoft.

After seven straight years of increases, 2015 is the first year since 2007 to show a downturn in U.S. patent activity. IFI CLAIMS says there were 298,407 utility patents granted for the calendar year, which is down just less than 1% compared to 2014. Even perennial patent leader IBM is down slightly compared to 2014–although still keeps its #1 position–while #2 Samsung and #3 Canon maintain their 2014 slots with small gains over the prior year.

Big gainers include Qualcomm moving up 3 places to #4, Google up 3 places to the #5 slot, LG Electronics up 1 to #8 and Intel jumping back into the Top 10 at #9. Toshiba increases counts slightly keeping hold of the #6 position. IFI analysis shows downward momentum for some including Sony (#7 down from #4), Panasonic (#18 down from #10), and Microsoft (#10 down from #5 besting #11 Apple by only 18 patents).