SEOUL, Feb. 5 (Yonhap) — Samsung Electronics Co. clinched the No. 2 spot in U.S. patent grants among global corporate giants in 2020, industry data showed Friday.

Samsung Electronics, the world’s top smartphone and memory chip maker, received 8,539 U.S. patent grants last year, down 1 percent from the previous year, according to the data from the U.S. Intellectual Property Organization.

Yet, the flagship of Samsung Group, the top family-controlled conglomerate in South Korea, retained the No. 2 title for 14 years on end.

South Korea’s LG Group, which has electronics giant LG Electronics Inc. and LG Chem Ltd. under its wing, came in third with 5,112, up 4 percent from a year earlier.

U.S. tech juggernaut International Business Machines (IBM) Corp. topped the list with 9,435 grants, unchanged from the previous year.

Canon followed LG Group with 3,689, trailed by Intel with 3,284, Raytheon Technologies with 3,213, Huawei Technologies with 3,178 and Microsoft with 2,972.

Apple registered 2,840 patents last year, up 12 percent from a year earlier, with its ranking rising to 11th from 14th.

South Korean auto giant Hyundai Motor Co. ranked 21st with 1,626 patents, while SK Group placed 43rd with 1,091 grants.