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

#NameNumber of assignments transacted
1CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA3310
2INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION2824
3SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.2511
4NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH (NIH), U.S. DEPT. OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (DHHS), U.S. GOVERNMENT2235
5NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION1464
6TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI KAISHA1441
7LG ELECTRONICS INC.1332
8SONY CORPORATION1276
9QUALCOMM INCORPORATED1203
10SIEMENS AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT1137
11KABUSHIKI KAISHA TOSHIBA1124
12PANASONIC INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT CO., LTD.1091
13FUJITSU LIMITED1042
14ROBERT BOSCH GMBH995
15HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES CO., LTD.987
16TELEFONAKTIEBOLAGET L M ERICSSON (PUBL)977
17SEIKO EPSON CORPORATION959
18MICROSOFT CORPORATION813
19INTEL CORPORATION807
20GOOGLE INC.768
21FUJIFILM CORPORATION756
22SHARP KABUSHIKI KAISHA749
23NEC CORPORATION743
24MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CORPORATION734
25ZTE CORPORATION687
26KONINKLIJKE PHILIPS N.V.676
27DENSO CORPORATION666
28HEWLETT-PACKARD DEVELOPMENT COMPANY, L.P.659
29THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA590
30TENCENT TECHNOLOGY (SHENZHEN) COMPANY LIMITED571
31UNITED TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION546
32JAPAN DISPLAY INC.534
33DOW GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES LLC528
34ELECTRONICS AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS RESEARCH INSTITUTE517
35RICOH COMPANY, LTD.511
36APPLE INC.508
37EBAY INC.472
38SAMSUNG DISPLAY CO., LTD.468
39MICROSOFT TECHNOLOGY LICENSING, LLC463
40BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA457
41NOKIA TECHNOLOGIES OY454
42HITACHI, LTD.445
43BOE TECHNOLOGY GROUP CO., LTD.442
44HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD.430
45COVIDIEN LP426
46AT&T INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY I, L.P.406
47ENERGY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF404
48SEMICONDUCTOR ENERGY LABORATORY CO., LTD.404
49NOKIA CORPORATION401
50LG CHEM, LTD.397

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

#NameNumber of assignments transacted
1NOKIA CORPORATION409
2UNIVERSITY OF UTAH236
3HON HAI PRECISION INDUSTRY CO., LTD.213
4SAMSUNG ELECTRO-MECHANICS CO., LTD157
5SEARETE LLC153
6TOYOTA MOTOR ENGINEERING & MANUFACTURING NORTH AMERICA, INC.140
7MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY135
8SCIENBIZIP CONSULTING(SHENZHEN)CO.,LTD.131
9MOLEX INCORPORATED119
10SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT INC.119
11UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA112
12SEO, HANBYUL108
13MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL106
14BANK OF AMERICA, N.A.103
15SCHAEFFLER TECHNOLOGIES GMBH & CO. KG101
16SONY MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS AB96
17HONG FU JIN PRECISION INDUSTRY (SHENZHEN) CO., LTD.91
18GENERAL ELECTRIC CAPITAL CORPORATION87
19GENERAL ELECTRIC CAPITAL CORPORATION, AS RETIRING AGENT86
20PRINCETON UNIVERSITY85
21MARVELL WORLD TRADE LTD.81
22STANFORD UNIVERSITY81
23UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, AUSTIN81
24LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL SECURITY80
25BRIGHAM AND WOMEN'S HOSPITAL77
26SONICWALL L.L.C.77
27OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY75
28SIEMENS CORPORATION73
29KIM, KIJUN72
30LEE, YOUNGDAE72
31JUNG, SUNGHOON71
32CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY69
33YI, YUNJUNG68
34SHARP LABORATORIES OF AMERICA, INC.66
35HARVARD UNIVERSITY65
36SILICON VALLEY BANK65
37COOK INCORPORATED64
38AHN, JOONKUI63
39FUJIOKA, ROBB63
40ALTRIA CLIENT SERVICES INC.62
41GAAL, PETER62
42UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES62
43ALTRIA CLIENT SERVICES LLC61
44YI, SEUNGJUNE60
45SLOAN-KETTERING INST CAN RESEARCH59
46EMORY UNIVERSITY57
47JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A.57
48SHELTON, FREDERICK E., IV57
49SPANSION, LLC57
50CITIBANK, N.A., AS COLLATERAL AGENT55

Jack Ellis

Writer