Panasonic retakes top spot in patents

Kyodo

Panasonic Corp. reclaimed the top spot in international patent filings in 2013, overtaking Chinese telecommunications equipment maker ZTE Corp., the top filer in 2011 and 2012, the World Intellectual Property Organization said.

Panasonic filed 2,881 applications, down 109 from the previous year, followed by 2,309 filings by ZTE. The Chinese company’s patent filings dropped 1,597 from 2012, the largest drop among the top 50 applicants.

Panasonic headed the top applicant list in 2009 and 2010 but was overtaken by ZTE in 2011 and remained in second position in 2012. Huawei Technologies Co. of China placed third in 2013 behind Panasonic and ZTE with 2,094 filings.

Among other Japanese firms, Sharp Corp. was sixth with 1,840 applications and Toyota Motor Corp. was in eighth place with 1,696 filings.

The overall patent filings with the Geneva-based guardian of the international intellectual property system reached a record 205,300, up 5.1 percent from 2012.

By country, the United States remained the largest applicant with 57,239 filings, up 10.8 percent.