4 Mar
2016

Intellectual Ventures, LG, Nokia and Samsung among 2015's most active patent dealmakers

Yesterday, we published data provided by ktMINE outlining the leading assignors and assignees of US patent assets last year, in terms of the number of assets assigned.

Today, as a follow-up, we present the 2015 data covering the most prolific assignors and assignees in terms of the number of assignments they have transacted. The key point here is that a single assignment can include anywhere from one patent to thousands of assets. As such, figures relating to whole assignments, rather than to the number of patents that have been assigned, can potentially give us more insight into which companies are most active in terms of doing deals. (For example, in yesterday’s blog, Freescale Semiconductor was revealed as the top assignee by number of patents assigned, although most if not all of these 26,002 were transferred in a single transaction after Citibank released its security interest in them in preparation for the chipmaker’s merger with the Netherlands’ NXP Semiconductors.)    

That said, as you can see in the tables below, the company names that appear among the top assignees by assignments correspond closely with top US patent applicant and grantee lists. This probably reflects their high number of original assignments which each consist of a single patent asset.

Beyond these, ktMINE analyst Megan Rourke has pointed out a few interesting trends. Nokia Corporation tops the assignor list with 409 discrete assignments during last year. According to Rourke, this is likely to reflect the company’s movement of a large portion of its US patent portfolio to its new Finland-based, R&D and IP monetisation-focused subsidiary Nokia Technologies Oy. In fourth place on the same table, South Korea’s Samsung Electro-Mechanics assigned a large number of patents to recently spun-off company SoluM. Fifth-ranked Searete LLC – well-documented as an Intellectual Ventures affiliate – made most of its assignments to the patent firm’s Innovation Science Fund. The 12th most prolific assignor of US patent assets in 2015 appears to have been an individual named Hanbyul Seo, who Rourke identifies as an inventor for South Korea’s LG Group.

Top 50 assignees of US patents by number of assignments transacted 2015

# Name Number of assignments transacted
1 CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA 3310
2 INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION 2824
3 SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD. 2511
4 NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH (NIH), U.S. DEPT. OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (DHHS), U.S. GOVERNMENT 2235
5 NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION 1464
6 TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI KAISHA 1441
7 LG ELECTRONICS INC. 1332
8 SONY CORPORATION 1276
9 QUALCOMM INCORPORATED 1203
10 SIEMENS AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT 1137
11 KABUSHIKI KAISHA TOSHIBA 1124
12 PANASONIC INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT CO., LTD. 1091
13 FUJITSU LIMITED 1042
14 ROBERT BOSCH GMBH 995
15 HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES CO., LTD. 987
16 TELEFONAKTIEBOLAGET L M ERICSSON (PUBL) 977
17 SEIKO EPSON CORPORATION 959
18 MICROSOFT CORPORATION 813
19 INTEL CORPORATION 807
20 GOOGLE INC. 768
21 FUJIFILM CORPORATION 756
22 SHARP KABUSHIKI KAISHA 749
23 NEC CORPORATION 743
24 MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CORPORATION 734
25 ZTE CORPORATION 687
26 KONINKLIJKE PHILIPS N.V. 676
27 DENSO CORPORATION 666
28 HEWLETT-PACKARD DEVELOPMENT COMPANY, L.P. 659
29 THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA 590
30 TENCENT TECHNOLOGY (SHENZHEN) COMPANY LIMITED 571
31 UNITED TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION 546
32 JAPAN DISPLAY INC. 534
33 DOW GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES LLC 528
34 ELECTRONICS AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS RESEARCH INSTITUTE 517
35 RICOH COMPANY, LTD. 511
36 APPLE INC. 508
37 EBAY INC. 472
38 SAMSUNG DISPLAY CO., LTD. 468
39 MICROSOFT TECHNOLOGY LICENSING, LLC 463
40 BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA 457
41 NOKIA TECHNOLOGIES OY 454
42 HITACHI, LTD. 445
43 BOE TECHNOLOGY GROUP CO., LTD. 442
44 HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD. 430
45 COVIDIEN LP 426
46 AT&T INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY I, L.P. 406
47 ENERGY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF 404
48 SEMICONDUCTOR ENERGY LABORATORY CO., LTD. 404
49 NOKIA CORPORATION 401
50 LG CHEM, LTD. 397

 

Top 50 assignors of US patents by number of assignments transacted 2015

# Name Number of assignments transacted
1 NOKIA CORPORATION 409
2 UNIVERSITY OF UTAH 236
3 HON HAI PRECISION INDUSTRY CO., LTD. 213
4 SAMSUNG ELECTRO-MECHANICS CO., LTD 157
5 SEARETE LLC 153
6 TOYOTA MOTOR ENGINEERING & MANUFACTURING NORTH AMERICA, INC. 140
7 MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY 135
8 SCIENBIZIP CONSULTING(SHENZHEN)CO.,LTD. 131
9 MOLEX INCORPORATED 119
10 SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT INC. 119
11 UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA 112
12 SEO, HANBYUL 108
13 MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL 106
14 BANK OF AMERICA, N.A. 103
15 SCHAEFFLER TECHNOLOGIES GMBH & CO. KG 101
16 SONY MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS AB 96
17 HONG FU JIN PRECISION INDUSTRY (SHENZHEN) CO., LTD. 91
18 GENERAL ELECTRIC CAPITAL CORPORATION 87
19 GENERAL ELECTRIC CAPITAL CORPORATION, AS RETIRING AGENT 86
20 PRINCETON UNIVERSITY 85
21 MARVELL WORLD TRADE LTD. 81
22 STANFORD UNIVERSITY 81
23 UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, AUSTIN 81
24 LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL SECURITY 80
25 BRIGHAM AND WOMEN'S HOSPITAL 77
26 SONICWALL L.L.C. 77
27 OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY 75
28 SIEMENS CORPORATION 73
29 KIM, KIJUN 72
30 LEE, YOUNGDAE 72
31 JUNG, SUNGHOON 71
32 CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY 69
33 YI, YUNJUNG 68
34 SHARP LABORATORIES OF AMERICA, INC. 66
35 HARVARD UNIVERSITY 65
36 SILICON VALLEY BANK 65
37 COOK INCORPORATED 64
38 AHN, JOONKUI 63
39 FUJIOKA, ROBB 63
40 ALTRIA CLIENT SERVICES INC. 62
41 GAAL, PETER 62
42 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES 62
43 ALTRIA CLIENT SERVICES LLC 61
44 YI, SEUNGJUNE 60
45 SLOAN-KETTERING INST CAN RESEARCH 59
46 EMORY UNIVERSITY 57
47 JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A. 57
48 SHELTON, FREDERICK E., IV 57
49 SPANSION, LLC 57
50 CITIBANK, N.A., AS COLLATERAL AGENT 55

Jack Ellis

Writer