A recent survey of the top patent producing corporations in Canada (see this link, courtesy of our colleagues at IPPractice.ca) shows a few interesting trends:

  • Despite its fall from grace over the past 4 or 5 years, BlackBerry remains among the top innovators in the country.
  • The top five patentees in Canada all make a significant investment in departments that focus on purely on research and development (R&D):
    • BlackBerry (419 patents),
    • Qualcomm (329 patents),
    • Schlumberger (183 patents),
    • Procter & Gamble (164 patents),
    • LG Electronics (147 patents)
  • Innovators in the oil-and-gas/energy sector are not leading the pack, but are well-represented in the top tier: Schlumberger (183 patents), Baker Hughes (121 patents) and Halliburton Energy Services (105 patents), all of whom provide services to companies in the extraction / production sector.
  • Innovation in mature consumer sectors - led by BlackBerry, Qualcomm, Procter & Gamble, LG Electronics, General Electric, Microsoft and Honda - is typically incremental in nature. This is a sector where protection for incremental improvements (as opposed to quantum leaps forward) can play an important role in maintaining a competitive edge.