Taiwan IPO released the statistical rankings for patent applications filed and patent grants in 2021. Among the overall applications filed for all three kinds of patents, TSMC still headed the list by filing 1,950 applications in 2021, clinging to the top spot for six consecutive years, while Qualcomm claimed its top honor with 845 applications filed in Taiwan to be the top foreign applicant for the second year in a row. As to the number of patents granted for all three patent types, TSMC and Applied Materials each took the lead on the list of patent grants to domestic and foreign applicants with 1,053 grants and 492 grants, respectively. Invention patent applications filed by 100 top domestic corporations and research institutions rose by 17% and 11%, respectively.
Statistics of patent applications and rankings of the top 100 applicants are summarized as follows.
1. TSMC sits comfortably at the 1st place as the top domestic applicant for the sixth year in a row
Among the domestic applicants, TSMC has held on to the first spot with respect to the number of patent applications since 2016, and such remarkable success remained unchanged with 1,950 applications filed in 2021, surging by 78%. AU Optronics followed TSMC by filing 471 applications in 2021. Moreover, Realtek Semiconductor and Nanya Tech each filed their highest number of applications since 2001 to rank 4th and 6th with 442 and 290 applications, respectively. Delta Electronics, Inc. also saw their 18% growth by filing 205 applications and got a reentry to the top 10 list since 2015.
The statistics shows that there had been a total of 12,234 applications filed for three types of patents by the top 100 domestic applicants throughout 2021, which marks a year-on-year increase of 8%. Such an increase is attributable to the 13% growth in the number of invention patent applications (which accounted for 75% of the overall applications); corporations and research institutions experiences their growth in filings of invention patent applications by 17% and 11%, respectively. The number of design patent applications moved up by 1% as well. On the contrary, the filings in utility model patent applications declined by 7% mainly due to 20% fall in the applications filed by school applicants.
2. Six local banks appear on the top 100 applicants list with MEGA International Commercial Bank grabbing the top ranking and Hua Nan Bank filing the most invention patent applications.
There were six banks among the top 100 domestic applicants in 2021, including MEGA International Commercial Bank that headed the list with 165 applications, surpassing CTBC Bank that filed 155 applications and Taiwan Cooperative Bank that filed 144 applications. All the top three domestic banks saw their growth by 53%~85%. It is noticeable that for two consecutive years since 2020, Hua Nan Bank has been the top bank-applicant for invention patent applications by filing 46 applications in 2021.
3. Taipei City University of Science & Technology takes the lead in overall patent applications, and National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University files the most invention patent applications
Twenty-eight schools were among the top 100 applicants for three kinds of patents with Taipei City University of Science & Technology ranking 1st by filing 170 applications. A breakdown by the number of invention patent applications filed by schools shows that National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University contributed most of the invention patent applications filed by schools and colleges by filing 135 applications for invention patents, followed by National Cheng Kung University with 102 filings, National Taiwan University with 86 filings, and National Tsing Hua University with 86 filings.
4. Industrial Technology Research Institute stays firmly at the 1st place for invention patent applications filed by research institutions
There were five research institutions recognized as the top 100 domestic applicants for patents of any types. The Industrial Technology Research Institute, which finished 5th in the overall rankings, outshined other research institutions by filing 404 applications and was followed by the Metal Industries Research & Development Centre that filed 89 applications in 2021.
5. Qualcomm sticks to the top spot as the top foreign applicant for the second consecutive year
As to the top 10 foreign applicants, Qualcomm saw its growth by 17% by filing 845 applications. Four of the top 10 foreign applicants were semiconductor equipment manufacturers, which are Applied Materials ranking 2nd with 793 applications, Tokyo Electron ranking 5th with 477 applications, and Disco coming in 10th with 225 applications. ASML’s applications in 2021 hit its own record high ever to take the 8th place. Besides, Samsung Electronics rose to the 4th spot with 520 applications, marking the highest increase rate of 98% among the top 10 foreign applicants.
To sum up, the top 100 foreign patent applicants had filed a total of 14,149 applications for three kinds of patents throughout 2021, which represents a 5% rise. The invention patent applications accounted for 87% of the total applications, rising by 5%. The similar growth occurred also to the utility model and design patent applications by 3% and 6%, respectively. (Released 2022.02.15)