Global IT giant IBM on Friday said it received 5,896 patents in the US in 2010, topping the list of world's most inventive companies for the 18th consecutive year.
According to the IFI Patent Intelligence, which maintains US patent databases, IBM received a record 5,896 US patents in 2010.
Samsung with 4,551 patents took the second position, followed by Microsoft which had 3,094 patents last year.
"Patent leadership is an important element of our high-value business strategy, which is focused on enabling instrumented, interconnected and intelligent infrastructures that can change how systems of all kinds work to support a smarter planet," IBM General Manager (Intellectual Property) and Vice President (Research Business Development) Kevin Reardon said.
IBM received 1,087 patents in 1993, which has steadily grown to 2,658 patents in 1998, 3,411 in 2001 and 4,914 in 2009.
The list of top ten patent recipients from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) includes Canon (2,552), Panasonic (2,482), Toshiba (2,246), Sony (2,150), Intel (1,653), LG Electronics (1,490) and HP (1,480).
The patents granted to IBM in 2010 are for a range of inventions such as a method for gathering, analysing, and processing patient information from multiple data sources.
It also includes a technique that analyses data from sensors in computer hard drives to enable faster emergency response in the event of earthquakes and other disasters, among others.
More than 7,000 IBM inventors residing in US and 29 countries generated the company's 2010 patent tally, with inventors residing outside the US contributing to more than 22 per cent of the patents, IBM said.