In the 2016 patent race in the United States, Samsung Electronics placed second.
According to U.S.-based IFI Claims Patent Services on Tuesday, Samsung won over 55-hundred patents in the U.S. last year, a near nine-percent increase from 2015.
The Korean tech giant's position can be attributed in part to its spending on research and development.
Samsung spent over 14 billion U.S. dollars on research and development in 2015, making it second only to Volkswagen, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, and it applied for patents related to smartphones, smart TVs and memory chip products.
U.S. tech giant IBM ranked number one.
IBM saw the number of patents it earned increase nearly 10 percent from the previous year.
It secured over 8-thousand patents in 2016, or close to 22 patents a day.
Over 27-hundred of the company's patents were in the fields of artificial intelligence and cloud computing.
The other companies that made the top ten in 2016 included Cannon, Qualcomm, Google and LG Electronics, which ranked seventh.
Apple was edged out of the top ten and placed 11th.
According to IFI Claims, 2016 saw the most patents granted in a single year, with over 30-thousand utility patents granted.
"More IT companies are filing patent applications as a form of defense, to prevent other firms from filing lawsuits, which could cost an astronomical amount in damages."
Given the growing number of patent applications last year, IFI Claims Patent Services CEO Mike Baycroft said Korea, China and Taiwan are likely to capture an even larger share of the U.S. patent market next year.
Kim Hyesung, Arirang News.