The most innovative companies in 2021 – 24/7 Wall St.
One of the main measures of innovation is the number of patents granted to someone. For example, Thomas Edison, widely considered one of America’s most prolific inventors, held nearly 1,100 patents – a world record for much of the 20th century, although he has since been broken many times by others.
The volume of patents is also one of the main indicators used to compare innovation between companies and countries.
Apple Inc., currently owns over 70,000 patents worldwidefor example, including nearly 2,600 that were filed last year. But the Cupertino, Calif.-based iPhone maker wasn’t among the top 10 companies with the most patents filed in 2021. Several other big companies, including Toyota, Samsung, Huawei and IBM have all filed more of patents than Apple last. year. (These are the most popular phones of all time.)
Click here to see the most innovative companies in 2021
Not all patents are the same and many of them relate to innovations that are never used. Some patents relate to design – the ornamental aspect of a product, such as its shape, configuration, or ornamentation. Others are for utility, which is how a product is used and functions. Many products are covered by both types of patents if the unique quality of the invention lies in both its usefulness and its appearance. Generally speaking, however, a utility patent is considered more valuable because the utility aspect of a product is the hardest part to invent. (Here are 19 commercial products invented by the military.)
To determine the companies with the most patents in 2021, as well as the percentage of patents above or below the number granted in 2020, 24/7 Wall St. looked at the 2022 Patent 300 report published by the Patent Insights resource. Harrity Patent Analysis. Information on the function of the latest patent for each company is taken from the legal information search site Justia.