The Patent & Trademark Office issued more than 157,000 patents in 2007, according to an annual analysis by patent-database producer IFI Patent Intelligence. The number is down 9.5% from the record number of patents issued in 2006. The analysis shows that for the 14th year in a row, IBM received the largest number of patents with 3,148-although this is down more than 500 from last year. Samsung was second, receiving 2,725 patents, and Canon was third with 1,987 patents. Rounding out the top five patent recipients are Matsushita and Intel with 1,941 and 1,865, respectively. Of the top 10 companies receiving the most patents, the analysis finds half are from the U.S. As a class, semiconductors lead with 4,187 patents, followed by active solid-state devices with 3,855 patents. Drugs and biotechnology, chemistry, and radiant energy also showed strength as class categories, the report says.