The South Korean tech firm owned 75,596 US patents, outdoing the second best IBM by nearly 1.6 times, as of January 1, Yonhap news agency said on Monday, quoting the top 100 list drawn up jointly by the journal IAM and intellectual property big data analysis company ktMINE.
IBM, which had ranked at the top for the past 25 years, held 46,443 patents.
"South Korea's Samsung takes the top spot and probably will for the foreseeable future," the analysis report said.
"Even though IBM continually outfiles other companies, its assets are also ageing; in addition, it is known for abandoning a number of its patents relatively early in their lifetimes."
"As (IBM's) assets grow older, it will have to innovate more (or acquire more patent assets) to keep pace," the report added.
Japan's Canon came in third with 38,996 patents, followed by Microsoft with 33,327. Intel ranked fifth with 30,985.
Another South Korean tech firm, LG Electronics, settled at seventh place with 28,235.