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Canon awarded most US patents of Japanese companies for eighth year

January 16, 2013

The OEM tops rankings of Japanese companies awarded US patents for the eighth consecutive year.

Canon reported that it ranked first amongst Japanese companies and third overall in terms of patents awarded in the United States in 2012, according to the results issued by IFI CLAIMS Patent Services earlier this week.

Canon was awarded 3,174 patents in the United States this year, the highest number it has been awarded in the eight years that it has topped the Japanese company rankings. No information was given as to the areas in which the patents were awarded, but the ranking is interesting to consider in light of Canon’s case against the aftermarket last year over a US-held toner gear patent.

A list of the patents awarded to the OEM each year since 2005 shows that its awarded patents have fluctuated over time, with 1,828 awarded in the first year before rising in 2006 to 2,637, sinking again to 1,983 in 2007. The number of patents awarded rose in each year following this, from 2,107 in 2008 up to 2012’s record figure.

The OEM stated: “Canon actively promotes the globalization of its business and places great value on obtaining patents overseas, carefully adhering to a patent-filing strategy that pursues patents in essential countries and regions while taking into consideration the business strategies and technology and product trends unique to each location.

“Among these, the United States, with its many high-tech companies and large market scale, represents a particularly important region in terms of business expansion and technology alliances.”

It added: “Canon prizes its corporate DNA of placing a high priority on technology. And with regard to research and development results, the company actively promotes the acquisition of patent rights in accordance with the management direction of the Canon Group and technology trends while conducting thorough pre-application searches to raise the quality of applications.

“Through close cooperation between Canon’s technology and intellectual property divisions, the company aims to improve its technological capabilities while further enhancing its intellectual property rights.”

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