The top global innovators have been recognized by Thomson Reuters in its second annual Top 100 Global Innovators awards. Among the companies cited are Toyota Motor Corporation, Michelin, Honda Motor Company, Goodyear Tire & Rubber, Renault and Ford.
Thomson Reuters used four main criteria, based on intellectual property, in calculating the award winners. These were volume, success, how global the patents were, and how influential.
The 2012 award focuses on companies which are responsible for generating a sizeable amount of innovation. All organizations with 100 or more “innovative” patents from the most recent three years were included. An “innovative” patent is defined as the first publication in a patent document of a new technology, drug, business process, etc.
Patenting an invention through one or more patent offices is expensive. Not all patent applications pass through the patent examination process at the patent offices to become granted. Therefore, the ratio of published applications to granted patents over the most recent three years is a measure of success.
Protecting an invention in major world markets is an indication that the company places a significant value on those pieces of their intellectual property. The number of “innovative” patents that have quadrilateral patents in their patent families, according to the Thomson Reuters Quadrilateral Patent Index, was calculated to create a ratio to show which companies place a high value on their portfolios. The quadrilateral authorities comprise the Chinese Patent Office, the European Patent Office, the Japanese Patent Office, and the United States Patent & Trademark Office.
The impact of an invention “down the line” can be determined by looking at how often it is subsequently cited by other companies in their inventions. Thomson Reuters used its Derwent Patents Citation Index database to count citations to organization’s patents over the most recent 10 years, excluding self-citations.
The final list was determined using the combination of these key performance indices to give a multi-faceted perspective and enable Thomson Reuters to identify the 2012 Top 100 Global Innovators.