Semiconductors and Memory Ranks as the #1 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 Semiconductors and Memory technology area ranked highest in 2019.  There were 15,841 patents issued for Patent 300® companies in the US.  Semiconductors and Memory technology covers multiple United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) technology classifications.

Included are processes for manufacturing semiconductors and solid-state devices.  Also included are processes and apparatus for addressing, accessing and controlling, and forming memory addresses in a computer or digital data processing system.

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%

The top 20 companies in the Semiconductors and Memory area, shown below in Chart 2, include Taiwan Semiconductor (#1), Samsung Electronics (#2), International Business Machines (#3), Micron Technology (#4), and others.  Taiwan Semiconductor again tops the list having obtained 1,807 US patents.  Samsung had 1,592 US patents, up 5% from 2018.  IBM, at 1,364, was up 3% from 2018.  The top 20 companies represent a cross-section of the technology sector.  Included are chip makers, device makers, and various electronics companies.

Chart 2 – Top 20 Companies by U.S. Patents in Semiconductors and Memory

RankPatent 300®2019 Semiconductor and Memory Patents% of Company's 2019 US Patents2018 Semiconductor and Memory PatentsChange from 2018 Patents
1Taiwan Semiconductor180777%1972-8%
2Samsung Electronics159218%15225%
3International Business Machines136414%13183%
4Micron Technology86468%64534%
5Mubadala Investment55472%593-7%
6BOE Technology Group50423%38730%
8SK Hynix44255%468-6%
9Toshiba Memory42759%4192%
10Infineon Technologies34340%392-13%
11Semiconductor Energy Lab32146%478-33%
12United Microelectronics31389%318-2%
13LG Display27131%22421%
14Renesas Electronics26650%320-17%
15Western Digital26536%21523%
16China Star Optoelectronics23535%54600%
20Osram Licht19450%14237%

For more detailed information about this technology area, or any other data related to the 2020 Patent 300®, please visit