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The TR Patent Scorecard 2001

Whose patent portfolio is most potent? We rank 150 of the world’s top companies according to the quality and quantity of their patents.

We ranked companies in key industries according to the quality and quantity of their patents. Here are 150 of the world’s top firms.

Aerospace
 

Company

Lockheed Martin
313/1

282/1

329
307
0.95
0.92
2.70
1.82
8.5
8.5
United Technologies
207/2
221/2
345
335
0.60
0.66
0.33
0.42
10.8
9.8
Boeing
153/3
187/3
232
223
0.66
0.84
0.54
0.78
11.4
13.0
Rockwell International
114/4
176/4
112
175
1.02
1.01
0.34
0.53
7.1
7.6

Northrop Grumman

96/5
113/5
132
145
0.73
0.78
0.37
0.63
9.3
8.9
Thomson-CSF
74/6
83/6
97
113
0.76
0.73
0.58
0.69
8.8
8.1
EADS
66/7
75/7
126
132
0.52
0.57
0.27
0.35
13.4
10.8
Textron
51/8
73/8
61
77
0.83
0.95
0.05
0.27
13.3
10.4
Sequa
40/9
16/11
29
16
1.39
1.01
0.07
0.38
10.3
13.5
SNECMA
27/10
31/9
63
68
0.43
0.45
0.37
0.24
11.1
11.9
General Dynamics
22/11
12/12
28
14
0.80
0.81
0.04
6.28
12.4
10.8
GKN
19/12
23/10
28
37
0.68
0.62
0.04
0.24
12.1
9.4
Alliant Techsystems
13/13
6/13
13
10
0.98
0.63
0.92
1.33
13.3
10.6

*average

Indexing Innovation

Technology Review has teamed with CHI Research of Haddon Heights, NJ, to produce the Patent Scorecard, an industry-by-industry ranking of corporate patent portfolios. CHI combines the number of a firm’s patents with other indicators to flesh out this deeper picture of innovation. Here are the specifics:

Technology Strength: This figure, the basis of the rankings, provides an overall assessment of a firm’s intellectual-property power. It is calculated by multiplying the number of a company’s U.S. patents by its Current Impact Index (see below).

Number of Patents: The total number of U.S. patents awarded, excluding design and other special-case inventions.

Current Impact Index: This measure showcases the broader significance of a company’s patents by examining how often its U.S. patents from the previous five years are cited as “prior art” in the current year’s batch. A value of 1.0 represents average citation frequency; so 1.4 would indicate a company’s patents were cited 40 percent more often than average, and so on.

Science Linkage: Patents sometimes cite scientific papers as prior art. This value shows the average number of science references listed in a company’s U.S. patents. A high figure indicates the company is closer to the cutting edge than its competitors.

Technology Cycle Time: An indicator of a firm’s speed in turning leading-edge technology into intellectual property, defined as the median age (in years) of the U.S. patents cited as prior art in the company’s patents.

Automotive
9.2
8.6
 

Company

DaimlerChrysler
736/1

344/8

722
400
1.02
0.86
0.12
0.26
TRW
575/2
412/5
483
324
1.19
1.27
0.60
0.54
7.4
7.8
Bosch
536/3
395/7
630
429
0.85
0.92
0.11
0.21
7.7
7.2

Denso

529/4
444/2
468
373
1.13
1.19
0.18
0.30
6.7
6.9

Honda

491/5
424/4
501
372
0.98
1.14
0.09
0.17
7.7
6.6

Toyota Motor

472/6
405/6
414
324
1.14
1.25
0.39
0.36
6.2
6.2

General Motors

467/7
482/1
458
447
1.02
1.08
0.74
0.51
7.2
7.5

Ford Motor

307/8
434/3
370
398
0.83
1.09
0.50
0.32
8.4
8.3

Nissan Motor

301/9
179/11
276
166
1.09
1.08
0.05
0.16
6.1
6.2

Yazaki

264/10
240/9
311
224
0.85
1.07
0.02
0.02
6.3
6.7

Eaton

253/11
214/10
232
218
1.09
0.98
0.17
0.33
9.3
8.9
Yamaha
203/12
117/14
190
151
1.07
0.78
0.03
0.02
7.3
8.6
Aisin Seiki
200/13
165/13
167
155
1.20
1.06
0.54
0.51
6.0
6.8
Lear
169/14
105/16
155
85
1.09
1.23
0.52
0.90
9.2
9.9
Delphi Automotive Systems
169/15
108/15
155
101
1.09
1.07
0.19
0.25
5.9
6.6
ITT
167/16
167/12
185
173
0.90
0.97
0.08
0.25
8.9
7.8
Fiat
163/17
62/17
160
99
1.02
0.63
0.17
0.20
10.8
10.8
Breed Technologies
114/18
42/18
65
25
1.75
1.68
0.03
0.04
5.9
6.3

*average

Indexing Innovation

Technology Review has teamed with CHI Research of Haddon Heights, NJ, to produce the Patent Scorecard, an industry-by-industry ranking of corporate patent portfolios. CHI combines the number of a firm’s patents with other indicators to flesh out this deeper picture of innovation. Here are the specifics:

Technology Strength: This figure, the basis of the rankings, provides an overall assessment of a firm’s intellectual-property power. It is calculated by multiplying the number of a company’s U.S. patents by its Current Impact Index (see below).

Number of Patents: The total number of U.S. patents awarded, excluding design and other special-case inventions.

Current Impact Index: This measure showcases the broader significance of a company’s patents by examining how often its U.S. patents from the previous five years are cited as “prior art” in the current year’s batch. A value of 1.0 represents average citation frequency; so 1.4 would indicate a company’s patents were cited 40 percent more often than average, and so on.

Science Linkage: Patents sometimes cite scientific papers as prior art. This value shows the average number of science references listed in a company’s U.S. patents. A high figure indicates the company is closer to the cutting edge than its competitors.

Technology Cycle Time: An indicator of a firm’s speed in turning leading-edge technology into intellectual property, defined as the median age (in years) of the U.S. patents cited as prior art in the company’s patents.

Biotech/Pharmaceuticals
 

Company

GlaxoSmithKline
269/1
150/9
374
208
0.72
0.72
6.31
6.60
8.4
8.6
Pharmacia
178/2
222/3
349
332
0.51
0.67
16.64
10.10
10.4
9.6
Isis Pharmaceuticals
175/3
61/16
115
40
1.52
1.54
27.02
36.74
5.9
6.7
Merck
170/4
190/4
265
226
0.64
0.84
10.23
9.84
6.5
6.4
Pfizer
168/5
157/7
259
199
0.65
0.79
5.76
5.81
9.4
9.3
Aventis
154/6
345/1
375
733
0.41
0.47
7.34
3.85
10.2
9.8
Schering
147/7
68/15
112
78
1.31
0.87
6.10
5.52
8.2
8.7
Roche
139/8
223/2
263
282
0.53
0.79
17.60
16.12
8.6
8.5
Eli Lilly
125/9
168/6
174
205
0.72
0.82
7.51
9.43
8.5
8.7
AstraZeneca
94/10
105/12
204
170
0.46
0.62
7.11
5.52
9.4
8.5
Novartis
93/11
180/5
186
310
0.50
0.58
11.45
6.01
8.8
9.6
Abbott Laboratories
88/12
155/8
133
166
0.66
0.93
6.83
5.01
9.2
9.4
Novo Nordisk
75/13
84/13
183
132
0.41
0.64
3.92
6.79
7.8
8.2
Affymetrix
70/14
13/23
27
7
2.60
1.94
17.15
12.06
8.1
6.6
Bristol-Myers Squibb
63/15
123/11
117
160
0.54
0.77
10.38
9.25
9.8
8.6
BioNumerik Pharmaceuticals
53/16
5/24
23
5
2.32
0.99
23.70
18.23
3.0
9.3
Alliance Pharmaceutical
52/17
50/20
15
18
3.44
2.83
10.67
11.51
8.2
6.9
General Hospital
48/18
52/19
64
54
0.75
0.96
30.09
35.88
7.3
8.2
Takeda Chemical
43/19
57/17
86
97
0.50
0.59
11.47
3.23
8.2
9.1
Xoma
42/20
27/22
16
14
2.61
1.88
28.75
45.11
5.3
5.5
American Home Products
41/21
136/10
98
115
0.42
1.18
13.58
9.84
8.1
7.0
Schering-Plough
40/22
54/18
63
78
0.64
0.69
15.70
10.28
7.0
10.0
Incyte Genomics
37/23
71/14
149
77
0.25
0.92
9.42
10.29
3.9
4.9
Alza
37/23  
42/21
41
40
0.90
1.06
4.44
2.95
10.3
10.8

*average

Indexing Innovation

Technology Review has teamed with CHI Research of Haddon Heights, NJ, to produce the Patent Scorecard, an industry-by-industry ranking of corporate patent portfolios. CHI combines the number of a firm’s patents with other indicators to flesh out this deeper picture of innovation. Here are the specifics:

Technology Strength: This figure, the basis of the rankings, provides an overall assessment of a firm’s intellectual-property power. It is calculated by multiplying the number of a company’s U.S. patents by its Current Impact Index (see below).

Number of Patents: The total number of U.S. patents awarded, excluding design and other special-case inventions.

Current Impact Index: This measure showcases the broader significance of a company’s patents by examining how often its U.S. patents from the previous five years are cited as “prior art” in the current year’s batch. A value of 1.0 represents average citation frequency; so 1.4 would indicate a company’s patents were cited 40 percent more often than average, and so on.

Science Linkage: Patents sometimes cite scientific papers as prior art. This value shows the average number of science references listed in a company’s U.S. patents. A high figure indicates the company is closer to the cutting edge than its competitors.

Technology Cycle Time: An indicator of a firm’s speed in turning leading-edge technology into intellectual property, defined as the median age (in years) of the U.S. patents cited as prior art in the company’s patents.

Chemicals
 

Company

Procter & Gamble
584/1
773/1
475
411
1.23
1.88
1.53
1.81
10.8
10.3
3M
558/2
703/2
494
541
1.13
1.30
2.14
2.34
10.6
10.6
DuPont
318/3
402/3
539
496
0.59
0.81
8.01
4.52
9.6
9.6
BASF
283/4
317/4
725
598
0.39
0.53
1.58
1.93
10.1
10.3
Bayer
182/5
251/5
467
523
0.39
0.48
4.07
2.04
10.3
9.4
Bridgestone
166/6
98/12
187
132
0.89
0.74
0.53
1.25
10.7
10.6
Dow Chemical
158/7
181/7
184
230
0.86
0.79
6.47
4.39
10.8
9.8
Cabot
140/8
33/18
50
19
2.79
1.74
3.34
5.67
11.9
10.2
Shin-Etsu Chemical
133/9
128/10
199
190
0.67
0.67
0.62
0.36
6.9
7.3
Agfa
131/10
130/8
222
186
0.59
0.70
0.07
0.13
7.2
7.4
E.ON
124/11
120/11
247
218
0.50
0.55
0.88
0.78
8.7
9.0
Ciba Specialty Chemicals
116/12
67/17
176
84
0.66
0.79
1.15
1.00
10.4
10.6
L’Air Liquide
110/13
74/15
126
88
0.87
0.84
0.68
0.85
9.0
9.6
Rohm and Haas
103/14
236/6
136
205
0.76
1.15
1.51
0.67
9.1
7.6
Air Products & Chemicals
100/15
79/14
108
80
0.93
0.98
2.01
1.29
10.1
9.2
Dow Corning
92/16
130/8
143
167
0.64
0.78
0.95
0.85
9.9
9.7
Mitsubishi Chemical
85/17
91/13
127
147
0.67
0.62
0.65
0.96
7.6
7.7
Sumitomo Chemical
78/18
73/16
173
156
0.45
0.47
1.17
1.29
9.2
8.1

*average

Indexing Innovation

Technology Review has teamed with CHI Research of Haddon Heights, NJ, to produce the Patent Scorecard, an industry-by-industry ranking of corporate patent portfolios. CHI combines the number of a firm’s patents with other indicators to flesh out this deeper picture of innovation. Here are the specifics:

Technology Strength: This figure, the basis of the rankings, provides an overall assessment of a firm’s intellectual-property power. It is calculated by multiplying the number of a company’s U.S. patents by its Current Impact Index (see below).

Number of Patents: The total number of U.S. patents awarded, excluding design and other special-case inventions.

Current Impact Index: This measure showcases the broader significance of a company’s patents by examining how often its U.S. patents from the previous five years are cited as “prior art” in the current year’s batch. A value of 1.0 represents average citation frequency; so 1.4 would indicate a company’s patents were cited 40 percent more often than average, and so on.

Science Linkage: Patents sometimes cite scientific papers as prior art. This value shows the average number of science references listed in a company’s U.S. patents. A high figure indicates the company is closer to the cutting edge than its competitors.

Technology Cycle Time: An indicator of a firm’s speed in turning leading-edge technology into intellectual property, defined as the median age (in years) of the U.S. patents cited as prior art in the company’s patents.

Computers
 

Company

IBM
5561/1
4580/1
2927
2101
1.90
2.18
0.97
1.25
5.6
5.9
NEC
2413/2
1794/2
2117
1390
1.14
1.29
0.72
0.72
4.9
5.0
Hewlett-Packard
1576/3
1124/4
1044
653
1.51
1.72
0.85
1.38
6.1
6.5
Fujitsu
1496/4
1452/3
1236
1052
1.21
1.38
0.55
0.67
6.0
5.7
Compaq Computer
1133/5
991/6
426
354
2.66
2.80
1.19
1.18
4.6
5.8
Hon Hai
1112/6
55/20
397
37
2.80
1.47
0.00
0.00
4.1
5.1
Sun Microsystems
1109/7
747/7
468
266
2.37
2.81
2.07
1.80
4.8
4.3
Microsoft
1028/8
721/8
357
211
2.88
3.42
3.07
2.18
4.3
4.5
Cisco Systems
911/9
123/19
133
25
6.85
4.94
1.15
0.90
5.8
4.9
Xerox
659/10
999/5
573
662
1.15
1.51
1.09
0.97
7.0
6.5
Seiko Epson
569/11
365/11
409
242
1.39
1.51
1.27
0.82
7.0
7.2
3Com
509/12
158/16
178
48
2.86
3.28
0.38
0.76
4.7
5.2
Ricoh
473/13
477/10
438
367
1.08
1.30
0.33
0.35
5.8
5.8
Seagate Technology
472/14
226/13
295
125
1.60
1.81
1.11
0.63
6.8
6.4
OKI Electric
354/15
162/15
290
130
1.22
1.25
0.28
0.60
5.0
5.1
Dell Computer
266/16
246/12
94
88
2.83
2.81
0.06
0.10
4.9
4.8
NCR
233/17
225/14
142
137
1.64
1.65
0.49
0.67
7.5
6.6
EMC
210/18
157/17
87
45
2.41
3.51
1.33
1.77
5.4
5.5
Apple Computer
208/19
494/9
91
184
2.29
2.69
0.87
1.41
6.1
5.2
Unova
194/20
144/18
123
66
1.58
2.19
0.57
0.15
8.8
7.9

*average

Indexing Innovation

Technology Review has teamed with CHI Research of Haddon Heights, NJ, to produce the Patent Scorecard, an industry-by-industry ranking of corporate patent portfolios. CHI combines the number of a firm’s patents with other indicators to flesh out this deeper picture of innovation. Here are the specifics:

Technology Strength: This figure, the basis of the rankings, provides an overall assessment of a firm’s intellectual-property power. It is calculated by multiplying the number of a company’s U.S. patents by its Current Impact Index (see below).

Number of Patents: The total number of U.S. patents awarded, excluding design and other special-case inventions.

Current Impact Index: This measure showcases the broader significance of a company’s patents by examining how often its U.S. patents from the previous five years are cited as “prior art” in the current year’s batch. A value of 1.0 represents average citation frequency; so 1.4 would indicate a company’s patents were cited 40 percent more often than average, and so on.

Science Linkage: Patents sometimes cite scientific papers as prior art. This value shows the average number of science references listed in a company’s U.S. patents. A high figure indicates the company is closer to the cutting edge than its competitors.

Technology Cycle Time: An indicator of a firm’s speed in turning leading-edge technology into intellectual property, defined as the median age (in years) of the U.S. patents cited as prior art in the company’s patents.

Electrical/Electronics
 

Company

Canon
1977/1
1961/1
1938
1581
1.02
1.24
0.52
0.53
7.9
7.4
Toshiba
1769/2
1413/4
1340
1104
1.32
1.28
0.68
0.65
5.8
6.0
Sony
1694/3
1424/3
1436
1087
1.18
1.31
0.36
0.35
5.5
5.7
Samsung
1602/4
1251/6
1571
1043
1.02
1.20
0.19
0.18
5.4
5.6
Hitachi
1480/5
1569/2
1244
1198
1.19
1.31
0.67
0.82
6.8
6.6
Matsushita Electric
1427/6
1265/5
1372
1081
1.04
1.17
0.50
0.66
6.1
6.0
Siemens
1392/7
764/10
1497
878
0.93
0.87
1.11
1.01
6.9
7.2
Mitsubishi Electric
1145/8
1190/7
1060
1044
1.08
1.14
0.53
0.77
6.0
6.0
Koninklijke Philips Electronics
1078/9
893/9
1017
819
1.06
1.09
0.53
0.66
5.8
6.3
Eastman Kodak
777/10
894/8
883
885
0.88
1.01
0.29
0.38
8.0
8.2
Sharp
742/11
566/13
640
483
1.16
1.17
0.83
0.84
5.4
5.5
General Electric
606/12
681/11
819
765
0.74
0.89
0.63
0.63
9.9
9.5
Tyco International
510/13
658/12
395
466
1.29
1.41
0.57
0.65
9.2
9.7
Tokyo Electron
476/14
210/16
188
105
2.53
1.99
0.21
0.11
6.3
5.5
Minolta
317/15
241/15
334
223
0.95
1.08
0.06
0.04
7.0
6.7
Murata
285/16
177/18
303
181
0.94
0.98
0.24
0.24
7.5
7.6
Sanyo Electric
254/17
190/17
257
186
0.99
1.02
0.29
0.57
5.7
6.1
Brother
245/18
177/18
225
182
1.09
0.97
0.03
0.04
6.3
6.2
Trimble Navigation
217/19
146/20
85
49
2.55
3.00
0.19
0.26
6.7
5.4
Raytheon
216/20
299/14
227
302
0.95
0.99
0.56
0.86
8.3
8.2
Emerson Electric
196/21
139/21
213
178
0.92
0.78
2.22
1.04
10.9
10.2
Alps Electric
193/22
90/22
205
94
0.94
0.96
0.03
0.07
5.7
6.2

*average

Indexing Innovation

Technology Review has teamed with CHI Research of Haddon Heights, NJ, to produce the Patent Scorecard, an industry-by-industry ranking of corporate patent portfolios. CHI combines the number of a firm’s patents with other indicators to flesh out this deeper picture of innovation. Here are the specifics:

Technology Strength: This figure, the basis of the rankings, provides an overall assessment of a firm’s intellectual-property power. It is calculated by multiplying the number of a company’s U.S. patents by its Current Impact Index (see below).

Number of Patents: The total number of U.S. patents awarded, excluding design and other special-case inventions.

Current Impact Index: This measure showcases the broader significance of a company’s patents by examining how often its U.S. patents from the previous five years are cited as “prior art” in the current year’s batch. A value of 1.0 represents average citation frequency; so 1.4 would indicate a company’s patents were cited 40 percent more often than average, and so on.

Science Linkage: Patents sometimes cite scientific papers as prior art. This value shows the average number of science references listed in a company’s U.S. patents. A high figure indicates the company is closer to the cutting edge than its competitors.

Technology Cycle Time: An indicator of a firm’s speed in turning leading-edge technology into intellectual property, defined as the median age (in years) of the U.S. patents cited as prior art in the company’s patents.

Semiconductors
 

Company

Micron Technology
3731/1
1276/2
1469
498
2.54
2.56
2.20
1.25
5.6
5.4
Advanced Micro Devices
2363/2
940/4
1055
395
2.24
2.38
0.75
1.13
4.9
5.1
Intel
1797/3
1432/1
813
523
2.21
2.74
0.82
0.90
5.3
5.0
Taiwan Semiconductor
1383/4
349/9
514
159
2.69
2.19
0.28
0.28
3.8
4.2
Texas Instruments
1130/5
1007/3
729
626
1.55
1.61
1.87
1.28
6.7
6.5
United Microelectronics
952/6
344/10
538
192
1.77
1.79
0.08
0.28
3.5
4.2
LSI Logic
770/7
466/6
325
197
2.37
2.37
1.06
1.78
5.0
6.0
Hyundai Electronics
745/8
536/5
591
353
1.26
1.52
0.41
0.28
5.1
5.2
STMicroelectronics
593/9
454/7
539
349
1.10
1.30
0.86
0.98
6.7
6.5
Semiconductor Energy Laboratory
499/10
221/12
164
111
3.04
1.99
3.58
1.73
5.8
6.2
Vanguard International Semiconductor
390/11
171/14
131
62
2.98
2.76
0.16
0.26
3.8
3.8
Xilinx
316/12
185/13
114
62
2.77
3.00
0.90
1.19
5.4
5.2
National Semiconductor
286/13
351/8
187
204
1.53
1.72
1.07
1.56
5.8
5.8
Altera
268/14
138/15
97
40
2.76
3.44
5.06
2.14
7.2
6.5
Chartered Semiconductor
261/15
53/18
79
25
3.30
2.07
0.14
0.22
3.5
4.5
Lam Research
228/16
67/17
81
29
2.81
2.28
1.42
0.80
6.6
6.3
Cirrus Logic
223/17
224/11
112
100
1.99
2.24
1.47
1.36
6.7
5.8
Cypress Semiconductors  
188/18
130/16
113
64
1.66
2.03
1.42
1.06
5.6
5.2

*average

Indexing Innovation

Technology Review has teamed with CHI Research of Haddon Heights, NJ, to produce the Patent Scorecard, an industry-by-industry ranking of corporate patent portfolios. CHI combines the number of a firm’s patents with other indicators to flesh out this deeper picture of innovation. Here are the specifics:

Technology Strength: This figure, the basis of the rankings, provides an overall assessment of a firm’s intellectual-property power. It is calculated by multiplying the number of a company’s U.S. patents by its Current Impact Index (see below).

Number of Patents: The total number of U.S. patents awarded, excluding design and other special-case inventions.

Current Impact Index: This measure showcases the broader significance of a company’s patents by examining how often its U.S. patents from the previous five years are cited as “prior art” in the current year’s batch. A value of 1.0 represents average citation frequency; so 1.4 would indicate a company’s patents were cited 40 percent more often than average, and so on.

Science Linkage: Patents sometimes cite scientific papers as prior art. This value shows the average number of science references listed in a company’s U.S. patents. A high figure indicates the company is closer to the cutting edge than its competitors.

Technology Cycle Time: An indicator of a firm’s speed in turning leading-edge technology into intellectual property, defined as the median age (in years) of the U.S. patents cited as prior art in the company’s patents.

Telecommunications
 

Company

Lucent Technologies
2485/1
1701/2
1445
881
1.72
1.93
1.31
1.78
5.4
5.4
Motorola
2035/2
2148/1
1241
1193
1.64
1.80
0.63
0.76
5.4
5.5
Ericsson Telephone
1651/3
714/3
775
320
2.13
2.23
0.99
1.32
5.2
5.8
BCE
1024/4
369/5
472
179
2.17
2.06
0.89
1.09
4.8
4.9
AT&T
875/5
566/4
343
135
2.55
4.18
1.07
1.12
4.6
4.8
Nokia
630/6
259/8
306
163
2.06
1.59
0.49
0.53
5.3
5.3
Alcatel
478/7
319/7
423
285
1.13
1.12
0.79
1.06
6.4
6.7
Qualcomm
451/8
350/6
111
63
4.06
5.56
0.71
1.47
6.7
6.4
Verizon Communications
375/9
147/11
93
74
4.03
1.99
0.73
1.75
5.9
6.1
Cabletron Systems
253/10
116/12
41
17
6.18
6.98
2.00
2.39
5.2
4.5
MCI Worldcom
216/11
193/10
82
63
2.64
3.05
0.99
1.13
4.7
4.6
Nippon Telegraph & Telephone
168/12
204/9
127
120
1.32
1.70
2.04
2.15
4.6
5.0
Ciena
109/13
30/17
26
6
4.18
4.61
1.73
1.97
5.0
4.1
JDS Uniphase
100/14
57/15
52
36
1.93
1.61
2.21
1.31
7.1
7.5
Qwest Communications International
97/15
105/13
29
33
3.33
3.16
0.34
1.13
4.1
5.0
British Telecommunications
95/16
78/14
70
60
1.35
1.31
3.36
3.54
6.5
5.9
BellSouth
92/17
52/16
27
19
3.42
2.80
0.30
0.45
5.1
5.7

*average

Indexing Innovation

Technology Review has teamed with CHI Research of Haddon Heights, NJ, to produce the Patent Scorecard, an industry-by-industry ranking of corporate patent portfolios. CHI combines the number of a firm’s patents with other indicators to flesh out this deeper picture of innovation. Here are the specifics:

Technology Strength: This figure, the basis of the rankings, provides an overall assessment of a firm’s intellectual-property power. It is calculated by multiplying the number of a company’s U.S. patents by its Current Impact Index (see below).

Number of Patents: The total number of U.S. patents awarded, excluding design and other special-case inventions.

Current Impact Index: This measure showcases the broader significance of a company’s patents by examining how often its U.S. patents from the previous five years are cited as “prior art” in the current year’s batch. A value of 1.0 represents average citation frequency; so 1.4 would indicate a company’s patents were cited 40 percent more often than average, and so on.

Science Linkage: Patents sometimes cite scientific papers as prior art. This value shows the average number of science references listed in a company’s U.S. patents. A high figure indicates the company is closer to the cutting edge than its competitors.

Technology Cycle Time: An indicator of a firm’s speed in turning leading-edge technology into intellectual property, defined as the median age (in years) of the U.S. patents cited as prior art in the company’s patents.

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