Despite the rise of mirrorless options from Sony, Olympus and Panasonic, and the continued rivalry from Nikon, Canon maintains the top spot in terms of market share in the photo world. When you combine this dominance with their video, industrial, medical and printer divisions, you quickly realize just how massive Canon is as a company.
As a testament to their size, and continued research and development, last year Canon was granted the third most patents by the US patent office, a whopping 3,665, only trailing IBM and Samsung. This is the 31st consecutive year that Canon has been in the top 5 in this category. Canon was also 3rd on the list in 2015, with 4,134 patents.
For a bit of reference, Google was 5th on the list, Sony was 10th, Apple was 11th, and Fujifilm was 48th with a paltry 699 patents.
How will Canon’s impressive portfolio of patents translate into new and exciting camera gear? Your guess is as good as mine. Last year we saw the introduction of dual pixel raw technology in the 5D Mark IV, allowing us to adjust focus in post… sort of. They also introduced the EOS M5, their most recent attempt at a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Perhaps a few of those new patents are for more M mount lenses.
The full list of the top 50 companies in terms of patents granted can be found here.