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Innovation by the numbers

Christina Medici Scolaro

The smartphone industry has been the clear leader this year in terms of innovation according to the Thomson Reuters Intellectual Property Solutions Top 100 Global Innovators study, which identifies the top 100 most innovative organizations based on the influence of their patent portfolios.

The obvious players topped the list, including Apple, Microsoft, Samsung and Google. One company that may not be thought of as very innovative anymore: BlackBerry. The study shows this is the first year BlackBerry made the top 100 innovators list, driven by a 38 percent surge in patent filings between 2010 and 2011, and 17 percent growth in patent filings between 2011 and 2012.

Other industries on the list are from the semiconductor, computer hardware, automotive, telecom and pharmaceutical space.

According to Thomson Reuters, the 100 organizations in the study outperformed the S&P 500 for the third consecutive year, by 4 percent in annual stock price growth.

The Top 100 Global Innovators spent $223 billion on research and development last year, outspending the S&P 500 on R & D by almost 9 percent. Comparatively, the U.S. spends $408 billion on R&D, Japan spends $141 billion, France spends $49.9 billion and the U.K. spends $39.5 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

A somewhat surprising factor according to Thomson Reuters, China was absent from this year's top innovators list. Even though China leads the world in patent volume, the majority of patents are only filed domestically, which limits the country's global influence in the Top 100 Global Innovators study.

--By Christina Medici Scolaro

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