"Biotech/Pharma" Top 43
By Donald Zuhn --
The Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) released its 26th annual list of the top 300 organizations receiving U.S. patents. Patent Docs Readers may recall that the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office stopped releasing its annual list of top patent recipients in 2006 in order to "discourag[e] any perception that we believe more is better."
The IPO stated that while it does not intend for the report to "encourage or discourage patenting," it would continue to publish its annual list of top recipients because "the number of patents granted is one of the few objective measures of the patent system as a whole and the patenting activities of individual industries and companies." The IPO compiled its list by counting the number of utility patents granted during 2008 on which an organization or its subsidiary was listed as the owner on the face of the patent. However, the IPO attributed patents that were granted to two or more organizations jointly to the organization listed first on the patent. The IPO noted that 157,772 patents were issued in 2008, which was an increase from the 153,283 patents that issued in 2007 (but still lower than the 173,771 patents that issued in 2006). The top fifteen companies on the IPO Top 300 are listed below.
UPDATE: The IPO has revised its list to indicate that Hitachi finished 3rd with 2,197 patents in 2008.
As with the 2007 and 2008 rankings, we used the IPO's list of top patent holders to compile a list of the top "biotech and pharma" companies and organizations receiving U.S. patents in 2008. While our list of companies and organizations numbered 51 for 2006 and 47 for 2007, we were only able to compile a list of 43 biotech and pharma companies and organizations for 2008. Each organization's IPO top 300 ranking for 2008 is indicated in the "'08 IPO Rank" column; the IPO top 300 ranking for 2007 (if available) is indicated in the "'07 IPO Rank" column. Please note that some of the companies and organizations listed below may be involved in non-biotech or non-pharma work, and therefore, that a portion of the patents granted to these companies may be directed to other than biotech and pharma-related inventions. In addition, our list is a little inclusive in that we included medical device companies.
UPDATE: The IPO has revised its list to indicate that Dow Chemical Co. finished 206th with 82 patents in 2008. In our Biotech/Pharma Top 47 for 2007, Dow Chemical Co. finished 33rd (and 229th overall) with 76 patents.
Interestingly, the so-called Coalition for Patent Fairness, which has lobbied for substantial patent "reforms" that would arguably weaken patent rights in the U.S., placed a significant number of its corporate partners on the IPO's top 300 list. Of the fourteen corporate partners listed on the group's website, twelve made the top 300 (only Autodesk and Palm did not), and five of these companies placed in the top 25.