With 2019 in the books, it's time to look at how the various tech giants fared in the competition to pile up patents.

What's new: When including various subsidiaries, Seattle-based Sqoop found that Samsung edged out perennial top patent-getter IBM for utility patent applications and grants, as well as design patents. LG and Canon also were in the top five.

Why it matters: Looked at individually, patents represent merely a single idea that may or may not come to fruition. Taken in aggregate, though, patent applications and grants are a key measure of the overall strength of a company's intellectual property portfolio.

By the numbers: Here are some other findings...

  • Microsoft moved up from the 10th position to sixth.
  • Ford entered the top 10 — the only automaker to do so.
  • In terms of utility patent applications, Huawei ranked sixth, a sign it's stepping up its IP efforts amid legal and legislative challenges.

Meanwhile, using a somewhat different methodology, IFI Patents put out its own list of 2019 U.S. patent recipients.

  • This report places IBM atop the pack, where it has been for the past 27 years.
  • IBM had 9,262 patents last year, up 2%, per IFI, followed by Samsung, Canon, Microsoft and Intel.

Go deeper: Federal lawsuit against Gilead puts patent rights on trial

Go deeper

Updated 11 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: The swing states where the pandemic is raging — Pence no longer expected to attend Barrett confirmation vote after COVID exposure.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day case records last week
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events
  6. World: Restrictions grow across Europe.
  7. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.

Republicans and Dems react to Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation

President Trump stands with Judge Amy Coney Barrett after she took the constitutional oath to serve as a Supreme Court justice during a White House ceremony Monday night .Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

President Trump said Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Senate confirmation to the Supreme Court and her subsequent taking of the constitutional oath Monday was a "momentous day," as she she vowed to serve "without any fear or favour."

  • But as Republicans applauded the third conservative justice in four years, many Democrats including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) warned of consequences to the rush to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ahead of the Nov. 3 election, with progressives leading calls to expand the court.
Ina Fried, author of Login
53 mins ago - Science

CRISPR pioneer: "Science is on the ballot" in 2020

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

In her three decades in science, Jennifer Doudna said she has seen a gradual erosion of trust in the profession, but the recent Nobel Prize winner told "Axios on HBO" that the institution itself has been under assault from the current administration.

  • "I think science is on the ballot," Doudna said in the interview.

Why it matters: That has manifested itself in everything from how the federal government approaches climate change to the pandemic.