IBM received more U.S. patents in 2004 than any other private-sector organization for the twelfth consecutive year, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) (see the table). The USPTO's preliminary list shows that IBM received 3248 patents in 2004. That's 167 fewer patents than the 3415 it was awarded in 2003.
Philips Electronics N.V., ranking eighth in 2003 with 1353 U.S. patents, didn't make the 2004 list. The 2003 numbers for Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. include 12 patents issued to Matsushita Electronics Corp., which has been merged with its parent company.
Similarly, the 2003 number for Hewlett-Packard Development Co. L.P. includes 403 patents issued to Hewlett-Packard Co., 23 patents awarded to Compaq Computer Corp., and 41 patents issued to the Compaq Information Technologies Group L.P.
The final patent count usually isn't available until late in April.