bednarz writes "IBM retained its patent crown for 2011, topping the list of patent winners for the 19th year in a row. The only other U.S. company to make the top 10, Microsoft, fell from third place to sixth place, according to IFI Claims Patent Services' list of the top 50 U.S. patent assignees. HP and Intel fell out of the top 10 and landed 14th and 16th, respectively. Apple moved up to No. 39 after breaking into the top 50 for the first time last year. Asian firms account for 25 of the top 50, and U.S. firms hold 17 slots."