The unprecedented innovation in one industry puts the rest of them to shame

We are living in a time of massive, world-changing innovation.

“There were more unique inventions… over the past year than ever before in the history of humankind,” note analysts in Thomson Reuters’ 2015 State of Innovation report.

The report looks at patent-filing as a concrete (if imperfect) measurement of innovation. One of the most interesting takeaways is that not all industries are innovating at an equal pace.

Of more than 1.2 million patents filed across 12 industries in 2014, for example, 30% were in the information technology industry, a far greater chunk than any other industry. Another 13% were related to telecommunications and 12% were automotive.

What’s more, the analysts note, “it’s clear that Asia has an edge over North America in its computer-related innovation.” The top innovator in information technology in 2014 was Samsung, with IBM — the only US company in the global top five — close behind.

The greatest acceleration in innovation, however, was in the food, beverage, and tobacco industry, which filed 21% more patents in 2014 than 2013.

There was also a significant jump in the pharmaceutical industry, which filed 12% more patents in 2014 than the year before.

Here’s the full list:

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