Apple, Google and Intel are considered some of the world's most innovative companies, but you might be surprised to learn that in 2016 camera maker Canon was granted more United States patents than all those technology giants. With a total of 3,665 patents, Canon placed itself third on the annual IFI Claims ranking, just behind IBM and Samsung. Google, Intel, LG, and Microsoft occupied positions five through eight and, with just over 2,000 patents Apple is 11th. Ricoh ranked 21st and Fujifilm 48th.

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'The first critical element towards developing remarkable solutions that move the needle for consumers and business industries alike is research and development,” said Seymour Liebman, executive vice president, chief administrative officer and general counsel, Canon U.S.A. Inc. “This strong showing of patents granted year after year allow us to build intelligent products and solutions for the future, turning great ideas into reality.'

2016 is also the the 31st consecutive year that Canon is among the top five U.S. patent holders and for the 12th year in a row it is ranking first among Japanese companies for U.S. patents granted. The Canon patents likely include technologies from the company's printing, medical and other non-camera divisions but those are still impressive numbers, showing that the Japanese company remains one of the drivers of innovation in the industry.