How do you measure innovation?

The number of U.S. patents filed is one indicator of a business's ability to bring innovation to market, and by that measure, Samsung Electronics was the most innovative company in the world last year, USA Today reports. The South Korea-based tech giant filed 8,090 patents in 2015--or an average of more than 22 per day--an 8 percent jump over 2014. Other companies in the top five included IBM, Canon, LG Electronics, and Google.

One of the most significant observations noted by USA Today is that money spent on research and development does not necessarily translate into more patent innovation. Apple's R&D spending jumped from $6 billion to $8.1 billion between 2014 and 2015, but the number of patents awarded to the company dropped from 2,003 to 1,938. 

There was also no clear correlation between spending on R&D as a percentage of revenue and the number of patents awarded. IBM spent $5.4 billion on R&D, roughly 6 percent of its revenue, and filed 7,534 patents, while Microsoft spent $11.4 billion, about 13 percent of its revenue, and was awarded just 2,830 patents.

Below are USA Today's top 10 most innovative companies in the world, as tracked by number of patents filed. For the full list of the top 25, click here.

10. Panasonic (Japan)

2015 U.S. patents: 2,408
2014 U.S. patents: 2,490

9. Microsoft (U.S.)

2015 U.S. patents: 2,412
2014 U.S. patents: 2,830

8. Sony (Japan)

2015 U.S. patents: 2,889
2014 U.S. patents: 3,756

7. Qualcomm (U.S.)

2015 U.S. patents: 2,961
2014 U.S. patents: 2,652

6. Toshiba (Japan)

2015 U.S. patents: 3,110
2014 U.S. patents: 3,050

5. Google (U.S.)

2015 U.S. patents: 3,195
2014 U.S. patents: 2,575

4. LG Electronics (South Korea)

2015 U.S. patents: 3,882
2014 U.S. patents: 3,652

3. Canon (Japan)

2015 U.S. patents: 4,134
2014 U.S. patents: 4,055

2. IBM (U.S.)

2015 U.S. patents: 7,355
2014 U.S. patents: 7,534

1. Samsung Electronics (South Korea)

2015 U.S. patents: 8,090
2014 U.S. patents: 7,463

 

Published on: Jan 26, 2016