BlackBerry Once Again the Lone Canadian to Make List of World’s Most Innovative Companies

Thomson Reuters this week recognized BlackBerry as one of the world’s top 100 most innovative organizations of 2014.

It was not the Waterloo-based smartphone pioneer’s first time on the list.

“The term innovation has become such an overused buzzword that it’s easy to lose sight of what real innovation looks like,” says Basil Moftah, president, Thomson Reuters IP & Science. “By focusing exclusively on quantitative analysis of global business’ intellectual property portfolios, we are able to identify not only what companies are inventing the most, but also how aggressively they are protecting those inventions.”

In the US, innovative tech companies include Xilinx, Google, Apple, as well as AT&T, Oracle, and Microsoft. (Notable exceptions include Amazon and Facebook.) In Japan, which dominated the list with 39 companies, list-makers include Tokyo Electron, Hitachi, and Canon.

“This list of 100 companies represents the absolute vanguard of innovation: the organizations that are driving new breakthroughs, creating new jobs and igniting the global economy; we are honored to recognize their efforts,” Moftah added.

The Top 100 Global Innovators methodology is an objective, scientific measurement of innovation that uses global patent data to qualify and quantify innovation, according to Thomson Reuters. Methodology is based on four principle criteria: patent approval success rate, global reach of a patent portfolio, influence as measured by patent citations (removing self cites) and overall patent volume.

“We believe that our peer-reviewed methodology is unique in its approach, using the best data currently available to measure both the breadth and influence of corporate innovation,” the company says.

Based on that methodology, it’s highly unlikely we’ll see a billion-dollar startup like Slack, Hootsuite, or Shopify make this list. The biggest Canadian companies are, for the most part, banks and telecommunications giants—not categories of companies that innovate in the way Thomson is considering.