2017 IP Award Ceremony at TSMC Headquarters
2017 Patent Week Activity- Special Topic Presentation at TSMC Headquarters, Hsinchu
2017 Patent Week Activity- Special Topic Presentation at TSMC's Fab 14 facility in Tainan
2017 Patent Week Activity- Patent Knowledge Game @FAB12P1, Hsinchu
CASE STUDY

TSMC Ranked Top 10 U.S. Patent Assignee for 2nd Year

While Generating Ever-Growing Global Patent Portfolio, TSMC Ranked 1st in Patent Allowance Rate among Top 10 U.S. Assignees
Cherry Wu
2018/2/6

As the leading global dedicated IC foundry service provider, TSMC continues pioneering advanced technology and enabling innovations by investing considerable resources and effort into technology development. To comprehensively protect R&D achievements and to strengthen the Company's technology leadership, TSMC actively develops its patent holdings and expands its intellectual property portfolio.

In terms of patent quantity, TSMC has accumulated over 30,000 patent grants worldwide as of the end of 2017. TSMC obtained an ever-increasing number of U.S. patents in 2017 and was ranked in the top 10 of U.S. patent assignees for the 2nd consecutive year. In addition, TSMC was ranked No. 1 in 2017 with respect to the number of patent filings in Taiwan. In terms of patent quality, the allowance rate of TSMC's U.S. patent applications was the highest among top 10 U.S. patent assignees in 2017. These fruitful achievements not only strengthen TSMC's technological leadership, but have also established a solid reputation for its IP in the industry, and protect TSMC's freedom to operate worldwide.

Continuous Elevation of Patent Quality and Quantity

Patents provide important leverage to protect R&D achievements, and TSMC strategically sets patent-filing goals in close alignment with the Company's R&D resource allocations and investment plans to elevate patent quality and quantity. Primary measures to achieve these goals include: patent filing within patent warzones worldwide, in-depth invention mining for comprehensive protection, application monitoring throughout prosecution, patent quality enhancement, regular patent landscape monitoring, and patent strength and stockpile analyses. At the end of 2017, TSMC held more than 30,000 patents worldwide, including more than 16,000 U.S. patent grants and 14,000+ patents in other jurisdictions.

Boosting Patent Ranks

In 2016, TSMC was ranked in the top 10 of U.S. patent assignee ranking by IFI CLAIMS for the first time. In 2017, TSMC held this achievement for the 2nd consecutive year. At the same time, according to the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO), TSMC was ranked 1st among domestic applicants for both 2016 and 2017 with respect to the number of invention patent filings in Taiwan.

Year TSMC's Rank Among U.S. Patent Assignees
2017 9th
2016 9th
2015 13th
2014 23rd
2013 35th

TSMC Ranked 1st in U.S. Patent Allowance Rate

TSMC is devoted to patent quality enhancement and thoroughly monitors U.S. patent prosecution. For instance, through well-established communications, TSMC helps USPTO Patent Examiners gain full understanding of advanced semiconductor process technology. Additionally, in-person interviews are utilized for certain patent applications. These measures not only guarantee full protection of TSMC's inventions and innovations, but also facilitate in increasing its patent allowance rate and expanding TSMC's patent portfolio. According to Juristat, the allowance rate of TSMC's U.S. applications was 98% in 2017 and was ranked 1st among top 10 U.S. patent assignees. In the course of maintaining intellectual property rights, TSMC's long-term efforts in protecting technology innovations have laid a firm basis for company's future growth.

Ranking Company 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Ave of '13-'17
1 TSMC 95% 95% 97% 97% 98% 96%
2 Intel 86% 90% 92% 91% 93% 90%
3 LG 90% 87% 90% 90% 94% 90%
4 IBM 90% 84% 88% 91% 94% 89%
5 Google 92% 91% 78% 81% 90% 86%
6 Samsung Display 85% 87% 84% 85% 83% 85%
7 Qualcomm 94% 90% 79% 78% 80% 84%
8 Canon 89% 84% 84% 81% 84% 84%
9 Microsoft 81% 78% 73% 76% 82% 78%
10 Samsung Electronics 76% 74% 73% 71% 80% 75%

Establishing Solid IP Reputation in Industry

TSMC's long-term efforts in protecting intellectual property rights effectively bolster company's technology innovations and have laid a firm basis for creating corporate competitive advantages.