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Which Countries are Granted the Most New Patents?

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Which Countries are Granted the Most New Patents?

Which Countries are Granted the Most New Patents?

Every year, the UN’s World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) tracks hundreds of thousands of patents across industries.

These patents grant their inventors exclusive intellectual property rights over their creations. They encourage new ideas, spur scientific development, and lead to new technologies and entire sectors being born.

However, the number of patents granted varies greatly across nations. When viewing the origin of each patent’s applicant, we see a handful of countries dominating certain industries.

In this graphic, Jacqueline Ann DeStefano-Tangorra uses 2021 WIPO data to showcase which countries were granted the most new patents, along with their sector categorizations.

Countries with the Most New Patents

In 2021, out of 1,608,375 patents across multiple fields, 87% were granted to innovators from just six countries.

Applicants by CountryGranted Patents (2021)% of Total
🇨🇳 China607,75837.8%
🇺🇸 United States286,20517.8%
🇯🇵 Japan256,89016.0%
🇰🇷 South Korea156,9729.8%
🇩🇪 Germany69,6724.3%
🇬🇧 United Kingdom20,0091.2%
❓ Unknown24,6771.5%
🌎 Other Countries186,19211.6%
World Total1,608,375100.0%

After rapidly increasing its patent output in recent years, China topped the chart in 29 out of 36 total fields including computer technology, electrical machinery, and digital communication. The Chinese government’s focus on innovation led to the nation’s applicants receiving 38% of the 1.6 million patents granted in 2021.

The United States—home to the world’s largest tech companies—came in second with 286,205 granted patents by origin. The U.S. also topped four fields of its own: medical technology, engines and turbines, basic communication processes, and unknown (for inventions that can’t be assigned to a specific field).

Not far behind is Japan with 256,890 granted patents. It dominated the other nations in the fields of semiconductors, optics, and furniture and games, cementing its well-earned reputation of technological innovation.

“Unknown” origin applicants, for which the nationality or country of residence couldn’t be determined for the inventor(s), accounted for 24,677 of granted patents.

The Origin of New Patents by Field

When assessing which technological fields inventors are pursuing in 2021, it’s not unexpected that digital and electrical technologies are in the lead:

RankMain Field of Technology% of Granted Patents
1Computer technology10.3%
2Electrical machinery, apparatus, energy6.6%
3Digital communication6.5%
4Measurement5.9%
5Medical technology4.8%
6Transport4.5%
7Civil engineering3.7%
8Other special machines3.6%
9Audio visual technology3.3%
10Semiconductors3.3%
11Machine tools2.9%
12Chemical engineering2.8%
13Handling2.7%
14Optics2.6%
15Pharmaceuticals2.4%
16Materials, metallurgy2.4%
17Control2.4%
18Mechanical elements2.3%
19Telecommunications2.3%
20Furniture & games2.3%
21Basic materials chemistry2.3%
22Engines, pumps, turbines2.2%
23Biotechnology2.1%
24Organic fine chemistry2.0%
25IT methods for management1.9%
26Macromolecular chemistry, polymers1.7%
27Other consumer goods1.7%
28Environmental technology1.6%
29Thermal Processes and apparatus1.6%
30Surface technology, coating1.5%
31Textile & paper machines1.5%
32Food chemistry0.9%
33Basic communication processes0.6%
34Analysis of biological material0.6%
35Micro structural & nano technology0.2%
36Unknown0.003%

There are also many patents granted mainly in infrastructure-related fields, which have become all the more important following the COVID-19 pandemic and an increasing focus on trade.

These include medical technology, transport, civil engineering, and semiconductors.

A Tech-Savvy Future

The number of patents granted in 2021 is a testament to the growing importance of innovation around the world.

While a select few nations have dominated the patent landscape so far, there are many others making significant contributions to innovation and intellectual property.

As technology continues to advance and the global economy becomes more interconnected, the importance of intellectual property rights will only continue to grow.

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This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

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Technology

What is the Median Pay of Magnificent Seven Companies?

The Magnificent Seven companies are fueling stock market gains. In this graphic, we show the median pay of each company in 2023.

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This circle graphic shows the median pay of employees at the Magnificent Seven companies.

What is the Median Pay of Magnificent Seven Companies?

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

The Magnificent Seven are lifting the stock market to new highs, led by Nvidia, Microsoft, Apple, and Alphabet in particular.

In May alone, these tech giants added $1.4 trillion in market capitalization to the S&P 500—surpassing the combined gains of 296 other stocks during the same period. Notably, Nvidia contributed to more than half of this rise. As tech stocks boom, many are offering robust salaries with substantial stock option plans.

This graphic shows the median pay of the Magnificent Seven companies in 2023, based on analysis from The Wall Street Journal and MyLogIQ.

The Highest Paying Companies in the Magnificent Seven

Below, we show the median employee pay of the Magnificent Seven companies in 2023:

CompanyMedian Employee Pay
2023
CEO Total Pay
2023
Meta$379,050$24.4M
Alphabet$315,531$8.8M
Nvidia$266,939$34.2M
Microsoft$193,770$48.5M
Apple$94,118$63.2M
Tesla$45,811$0M
Amazon$36,274$1.4M

Data for Microsoft is from SEC filings. Total CEO pay includes equity awards and cash pay.

Meta ranks as the highest overall, with a median pay of $379,050, which is more than six times the national median salary.

Not only is it the leading company in the Magnificent Seven, it has one of the highest median pay across S&P 500 companies. Between 2022 and 2023, employee pay increased 28%, following four rounds of layoffs that slashed thousands of employees in its “year of efficiency”.

Following Meta is Google’s parent company, Alphabet, with a median pay of $315,531. The company operates a hybrid work policy, requiring employees to be in the office about three days a week. This mirrors a trend seen across Amazon and Salesforce to encourage in-person collaboration.

At Nvidia, employees received a median pay of $266,939, fueled by its soaring share price. Last year, over $300 million in value was delivered to its staff under its employee stock purchase plan. Along with a competitive pay package, the company offers an unlimited vacation policy along with 22-weeks of paid parental leave.

Falling near the bottom of the pack is Tesla, where the median salary for employees is $45,811. The automotive sector is notorious for steep wage gaps between CEOs and workers, with CEOs often earning 300 times more than the median employee.

In 2023, Tesla CEO Elon Musk earned no compensation, and is instead paid through incentive-based stock options. Recently, a judge invalidated a staggering $56 billion pay package for the executive, deeming it unfair to the company’s shareholders. This pay package was awarded in 2018, with stipulations that Tesla meet certain performance requirements over a 10-year timeframe.

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