The NGB IP Research Institute has analyzed the Japanese patent information database PATOLIS to identify the 40 companies having the most Japanese examined patent documents of 2008. According to the NGB IP Research Institute analysis, the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) examined a total of 176,950 patents in 2008, up 7.3% from the 2007 total of 164,954. The 40 companies receiving the most examined patents account for 63,308 of that total, making up 36% of the total patents for 2008.
Panasonic (former Matsushita Electric Industry) still tops the list. The remainder of the top 10 assignees are mainly electronics and vehicle-related companies like Sony, Toyota Motor, and Toshiba, etc. Two Japanese research institutes, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology (AIST) and the Japan Science & Technology Agency (JST), are among the top 40 assignees.
Toyota Motor, Sony, Sharp, Mitsubishi Electric and Konica Minolta Business Technologies each increased the number of their examined patents from their respective levels of a year ago. In particular, Toyota Motor increased its number of applications by about 1,326 patents in 2008, amounting to a 67% increase from the level of a year ago.
Over 90% of the top 40 assignees are Japanese companies, in particular, Japanese electronics and vehicle-related companies. However, among the top 40 patent assignees, foreign companies are also represented, with Korean electronics company "Samsung Electronics" and German vehicle parts company "Robert Bosch GMBH" being ranked the highest at 21st and 35th, respectively.
(Atsushi NOZAKI, Chief Analyst, NGB IP Research Institute)