The figures are based on preliminary counts and are subject to change during the year, the Patent Office said.
Micron Technology, which ranked fourth with 1,643 patents--up from 1,304 patents in 2000--and IBM were the only U.S. companies on the Patent Office's list.
IBM was awarded over 1,000 more patents than the next company on the list, NEC, with 1,953. Canon and Samsung Electronics rounded out the top five.
"One of the biggest myths of 2001 was that innovation was dying along with the dot-com bust," Nick Donofrio, IBM senior vice president of Technology and Manufacturing, said in a release. "The fact is that innovation is thriving in the research and development labs of corporate America and companies around the world, as this year's patent results confirm."