Computer Networks Ranks as the #8 Technology Area in the 2020 Patent 300®

The 2020 Patent 300® details the top 300 companies, organizations, and universities obtaining patents in the United States.  Data from the report shows that nearly 56% of patents obtained in the U.S. in 2019 were by Patent 300® companies.  The top 10 technology areas, which represent 47% of the 189,796 U.S. patents obtained by Patent 300® companies in 2019, are again dominated by electrical technologies. 

As shown in Chart 1, the Computer Networks technology area was the 8th largest technology area in 2019 with over 5,753 patents issued for Patent 300® companies in the U.S.  The Computer Networks technology area covers United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) technology classifications related to electrical computer or digital data processing system or corresponding data processing method including apparatus or steps for transferring data or instruction information between a plurality of computers wherein the computers employ the data or instructions before or after transferring and the employing affects said transfer of data or instruction information.

Chart 1 – Top 10 Technology Areas for Patent 300® (2019 U.S. Patents)

RankPatent 300 Technology Area2019 U.S. PatentsPercentage of Total 2019 U.S. Patents
2Electrical Circuits and Systems142698%
3Multiplex and VoIP108246%
4Printing/Measuring and Testing103836%
6Selective Visual Display Systems73384%
7Thermal & Combustion Technology, Motive & Fluid Power Systems59513%
8Computer Networks57533%
9Cryptography and Security50163%

When you look at the top companies obtaining patents in the Computer Networks technology area, shown in Chart 2, large global technology companies, such as IBM (#1), Microsoft (#2), Dell (#3), and Amazon (#4), are heavily represented in the data.  IBM maintains its #1 position on the list, having obtained 777 U.S. patents in the Computer Networks technology area, despite a 13% decrease from 2018.  8% of IBM’s U.S. patents obtained in 2019 are classified in the Computer Networks technology area.  Facebook (#5) has the largest year over year increase in Computer Networks patents at 63%, while Samsung Electronics (#10) had the second largest decrease at -12%.  While the companies in the top 20 are all large global technology companies, they cover a range of industries including enterprise IT, social media, telecommunications, consumer electronics, and more.

Chart 2 – Top 20 Companies by U.S. Patents in Computer Networks

RankPatent 300®2019 Computer Networks Patents% of Company's 2019 US Patents2018 Computer Networks PatentsChange from 2018
1International Business Machines7778%892-13%
7Cisco Systems20720%15633%
10Samsung Electronics1352%153-12%
13Tencent Holdings10122%7142%
18Hewlett Packard Enterprise567%4719%

Computer Networks is an important technology area in the patent world with over 5,700 U.S. patents in 2019 alone.  Computer Networks technology impacts companies in various industries around the world.  For more detailed information about this technology area, or any other data related to the 2020 Patent 300®, please visit