The Canon Sure Shot Delsol used solar panels on its front cover to power some of the camera's functions. Solar power drove the AF system, the electro-magnetic shutter unit, film advance and even the flash. A secondary lithium battery was used as a back-up. C1995

Canon has proudly announced it ranked third in the world for the number of patents awarded to it by the US Patents Office during 2018. The company is quite used to being at the top of the table though, and has managed to remain in the top five every year for the last 33 – since 1985. The company also says that it has ranked as the number one Japanese company in the charts for the last 14 years.

Canon explains in a statement that the US is an important market not only for its products but also for its technologies. The company says its innovations ‘serve society’ as they lead to better products, more convenience and improved manufacturing techniques.

It is important to remember the photography is just a part of Canon’s business, but it would be interesting to know what proportion of its 3000+ awarded patents last year came from its photographic operations.

Press release

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

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 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.