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The Most Innovative Tech Companies and Leaders, Ranked (Infographic) Patents go hand in hand with innovation, and compared to other tech industry heavyweights, Samsung came out on top.

By Hayden Field

entrepreneur daily
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Subwoofer. Scooter. Wireless headset communication device.

Those are just three of the more than 10 million utility patents filed over the last 200 years -- and the number of patent applications is even more staggering, usually numbering more than 500,000 annually. Patents go hand in hand with innovation, signifying big ideas, key risks and steps to move an industry forward. And according to 40 years of data from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), the "most innovative" tech giant -- denoted by number of patents filed compared to other industry heavyweights -- is Samsung. The electronics company reportedly has registered 138,934 patents, more than double that Microsoft, which came in second. The research was conducted by The UK Domain, a registry that manages .uk domain names, by way of analyzing records of all patents filed by the world's 10 largest tech companies according to Forbes's 2018 list.

As for the "most innovative" tech CEO ? Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, who held the chief executive role from 2000 to 2014, saw more than 30,000 patents registered under his term. Second to him is IBM's Ginni Rometty, who became the first woman to lead IBM when she assumed the position in 2012. Additional research by The UK Domain suggests that when it comes to Apple, Tim Cook led the way when it came to patents, with 9,119 registered at a rate of 1,258 per year. Under Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Apple registered 7,437 patents at a rate of 533 per year.

Click through the infographic to compare companies' total registered patents, chart a tech giant's innovation over time and even gauge unicorns' performance. With 195 registered patents, Netflix snagged top billing, followed closely by Uber (182 patents) and Spotify (179 patents).

Hayden Field

Entrepreneur Staff

Associate Editor

Hayden Field is an associate editor at Entrepreneur. She covers technology, business and science. Her work has also appeared in Fortune Magazine, Mashable, Refinery29 and others. 

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