The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has published its annual list of the most important online entities in the world, ranking the companies behind IP protection, intellectual property databases and copyright.
The list, compiled by the ICIJ’s global research group, Intellectual Property Watch, ranks companies from top to bottom and includes more than 2,400 companies, more than 3,400 patent owners, more over 5,000 copyright holders, more about 100,000 software developers and over 2,000 music publishers.
The news agency’s report comes on the heels of a series of reports on IP protection issues published by the European Commission, the US Federal Trade Commission and the UK’s Intellectual Property Office.
The ICIJ has also published its Annual Transparency Report, which ranks companies on how transparent they are on IP matters.
The report, which focuses on the information technology industry, found that over one third of the companies on the ICJ’s list of world’s top 100 companies, which it describes as “big data” firms, do not publish information about their intellectual properties or IP database.
The report found that only 20 of the world’s 50 largest companies, including Microsoft, Google and Facebook, publish the information.
The report also found that in 2016, less than one in five of the top 100 largest companies on its list did not have information on their IP database or their intellectual assets, with more than a quarter of them not publishing the information online.
ICIJ says the lack of transparency is an issue with the data it has about the world.
“It is not just that information about IP is not public, it is that IP information is often hidden in plain sight and sometimes inaccessible,” it said.
“The lack of data transparency means that IP databases are rarely indexed and that users are often unaware that they have been tracked.”
The ICJ report found the number of companies on their list of 100 most important internet companies in the first quarter of 2017 fell from 2,788 to 1,764.