Four Korean firms on innovation list

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Four Korean firms on innovation list


Four Korean companies were listed among the world’s 100 most innovative.

Thomson Reuters yesterday released a list of the 100 most innovative companies in the world, which included Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Cheil Industries and LS Industrial Systems.

Korea and Japan were the only countries in Asia with companies on the list.

Thomson Reuters said in its statement that although China has a lead in the number of patent applications, it didn’t make the list because the quality of its patents and their global influence have yet to be proven.

The list is based on four principle criteria: patent approval success rate, global reach of patent portfolio, patent influence in literature citations and overall patent volume.

“Innovation is a means of growth and prosperity for companies and nations seeking to overcome sluggish economies and achieve competitive advantage,” said David Brown, president of the IP Solutions business of Thomson Reuters.

“The Thomson Reuters 2011 Top 100 Global Innovator program recognizes those organizations that lead the world in innovation, the protection and commercialization of inventions and influence on future technologies,” he said. “We salute these companies and their leaders for the innovative spirit they foster and their commitment to protecting intellectual assets.”

While U.S. companies accounted for 40 percent of the list, Asian companies came in second with a 31 percent share. European companies accounted for 29 percent.

Japan outnumbered Korea with innovative companies. The list cited 27, including Panasonic, Sony and Honda Motor.

“In the past Korean companies’ reputation in the global market was low,” said Kim Jong-nyun, senior analyst at Samsung Economic Research Institute. “But since the economic crisis in late 2008, leading companies like Samsung Electronics have reinvented themselves as global firms.

“Korean companies’ brand images and reputations improved,” he said, “and their technological and innovative abilities have improved significantly.”

Kim added that Japanese companies remain strong competitors despite the country’s recent economic struggle.

“These are companies with long histories and they have solid technology and innovative foundations,” Kim said. “However, this does not mean that Korean companies are less competitive.”

Thomson Reuters said the 100 companies on the list have added 400,087 new jobs in 2010 over 2009.

This is more than the 3 percent increase between 2008 and 2009.

Furthermore, the 100 companies on the list saw their revenue rise 12.9 percent on average last year over the previous year. This is larger growth than the 7.2 percent on-year revenue expansion registered by the S&P 500.

“The jobs created by the ... organizations are proof of the impact innovation can have on driving economic growth, a valuable point as first world nations struggle to identify pathways for future prosperity,” Brown said.

By Lee Ho-jeong []

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