For the sixth consecutive year, International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) received more patents for invention than any other organization, reports the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in its 1998 preliminary figures. In 1998 IBM received 2,657 patents, a 54% increase over its 1997 total. The second-, third-, and fourth-ranked organizations also remained unchanged. Those are: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha, with 1,928 patents; NEC Corp., with 1,627; and Motorola Inc., with 1,406. The U.S. government (with 1,017 patents) dropped from the list of the top 10 patenting organizations after having been on it each year since 1969, when patent data began to be collected in electronic format.