Canon Business General

Canon places top five in U.S. patent rankings for 33 years running and first among Japanese companies for fourteen years running

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TOKYO, January 8, 2019—Canon Inc. ranked third for the number of U.S. patents awarded in 2018, becoming the only company in the world to have ranked in the top five for 33 years running, according to the latest ranking of preliminary patent results issued by IFI CLAIMS Patent Services. What’s more, Canon once again ranked first among Japanese companies.

Canon actively promotes the globalization of its business and places great value on obtaining patents overseas, carefully adhering to a patent-filing strategy that pursues patents in essential countries and regions while taking into consideration the business strategies and technology and product trends unique to each location. Among these, the United States, with its many high-tech companies and large market scale, represents a particularly important region in terms of business expansion and technology alliances.

Canon U.S. patent rankings 2005–2018


Ranking among

Japanese companies
No. of patents

Canon promotes the acquisition and application of intellectual property rights, not only for fundamental technologies required for next-generation products, but also such technologies as the wireless communication and image compression technologies shared by next-generation social infrastructure. Canon contributes to the realization of technology that serves society by continuing to provide even better products, greater convenience and by contributing to the development of manufacturing.


CR Pro
Aug 26, 2010
If only Canon would transform some of the much desired patents into actual products, especially:

The optical formula for a new EF 50mm f/1.4 has appeared. It looks like the lens has internal focus and an odd negative front element. We haven’t heard anything for a while about a new 50mm f/1.4, but it’s definitely needed.


A patent for the Canon EF 600mm f/4 DO IS has finally appeared. A prototype of this lens was shown in September of 2015 at the Canon EXPO. We were also told a few months ago that the retail version of this lens could be coming near the end of 2017, though we haven’t received confirmation.
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Del Paso

M3 Singlestroke
CR Pro
Aug 9, 2018
Troll much? This article is about the awarding of patents. How is your comment remotely relevant?
Canon camera design bad?
Customers must be silly to buy them in such numbers... If only they had your knowledge.


CR Pro
Apr 3, 2013
Isle of Wight
Hi Folks.
Wow, signed up just to troll :oops: and then when it warmed up a bit they couldn’t take the heat and vanished! :unsure: Is that “if you can’t stand the heat keep out of the kitchen?” :ROFLMAO:

Cheers, Graham.

brodbeckleon said:
Lens Design is amazing from Canon but the camera bodies are technically bad compared to the competition
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May 8, 2015
1) Patents mean very little, and being in the "top 5" patent companies means nothing; literally anybody can apply for patents for anything. I could come up with a new way of folding paper in half and patent that.

2) That poster is right in that Canon bodies are significantly behind every other manufacturer in terms of sheer technology. That has always been the case except for a few brief years around 2003-2006 where Canon pushed into digital a bit harder than everyone else and managed to have the highest-resolution and best-quality sensors for a little while. Other manufacturers' cameras were still more responsive, though.

But that's fine because that's how Canon has operated since the mid-70s. Camera bodies are loss leaders; lenses are where the profit is at. Lenses are also what control the market. You can make the greatest body in the world but if you've only got one standard zoom lens for it and you can't sell the body at a price which makes a profit anyway, what's the point? When Canon introduced the A series of FD-mount cameras, they were relatively affordable; the most bare minimum you could get with auto exposure. The point of those bodies was they gave you auto exposure and access to the biggest lens selection in the world, and that A-line sold brilliantly. Then when it came time to update again, Canon elected to ditch the FD mount entirely and came up with the EF mount. The first EF bodies were utterly awful but the lenses were mind-blowingly groundbreaking, and no other company was able to match them for years, by which point Canon had gotten around to making some decent bodies and even better lenses. That's what kept Canon in the #1 market share spot for decades.
Now we're seeing it again with the RF launch. Great mount, groundbreaking lenses; pretty crap first body. And that's fine. Systems don't exist with just one body. New bodies get added at different price points and existing bodies get refreshed every few years. Camera bodies do not hold their value and never have, outside of medium format. (Even large format systems don't hold their value as well as medium format.) What's important is the lens mount is good and the new lenses are equally good, and we've already seen that the RF mount and lenses are exactly that.

Y'all need to stop being so precious about Canon—remember, a multi-billion-dollar conglomerate corporation is not your friend, nor is it your personal identity—and accept that not everything Canon does is going to be top-class. And it's fine. It's all fine. Just like how it's fine that Fuji cameras still don't have good battery life, or that Sony's lenses are either sub-par or comparatively overpriced, or that Nikon is just kind of in the middle of everything being a jack-of-all and master of none. Every system has its ups and downs, pros and cons. Canon's happens to be that they don't deliver top-of-the-class bodies. That's fine. It's all fine.

People who don't acknowledge that Canon's bodies have nearly always been a weak point for the company, but that it's irrelevant because the market is decided on lenses and customer support rather than body specs, are willfully ignoring history.
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Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
Alberta, Canada
"being in the "top 5" patent companies means nothing; ":LOL::ROFLMAO::LOL: CR for the humour. Nothing, Nada, give me a break. Canon continues to do just fine. Now may I see your patent list starting with the folded paper!



I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jul 21, 2010
People who don't acknowledge that Canon's bodies have nearly always been a weak point for the company, but that it's irrelevant because the market is decided on lenses and customer support rather than body specs, are willfully ignoring history.
The main reason Canon has been the ILC market leader for 15+ years is their consumer level Rebel/xxxD line. So what you’re saying is that all those entry-level consumers are like, “Well, this Rebel camera kinda sucks, but man oh man that EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens is just frickin’ awesome, and what the hell, I’ll get the kit with the bonus EF 75-300mm lens ‘cuz that’s only an extra 60 bucks and that lens is even double-frickin’ awesomer!!!”

I’m not sure why it’s so hard for some people to grasp the basic fact that the features/specs that matter to them personally aren’t necessarily the ones that matter most to the majority of buyers. But at least the ridiculous conclusions they draw from their poor grasp of reality are amusing, and if nothing else that keeps Jack around.
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