(Bloomberg) -- International Business Machines Corp. amassed more U.S. patents than any other company for the 21st straight year, helped by its push into big-data services, which glean insights by mining large quantities of information.

IBM’s 6,809 patents in 2013 scored an annual record, the company said today in a statement. With inventors from 41 countries, more than 31 percent of the patents came from overseas. South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. and Tokyo-based Canon Inc. ranked second and third. While computer-related patents can take almost three years to process, the annual list shows where companies are seeking growth opportunities.

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