IBM breaks US patents record

Over 8,000 US patents received by IBM inventors in 2016, leads other tech giants

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IBM breaks US patents record IBM making strides in cognitive healthcare.
By  David Ndichu Published  January 17, 2017

IBM announced that it broke the U.S. patent record with 8,088 patents granted to its inventors in 2016, marking the 24th consecutive year of leading the U.S. patent list.

IBM’s 2016 patent output covers a diverse range of inventions in artificial intelligence and cognitive computing, cognitive health, cloud, cybersecurity and other strategic growth areas for the company.

IBM inventors were granted more than 22 patents per day in 2016, enabling the company to become the first to surpass 8,000 patents in a single year. IBM researchers, engineers, and designers generated more than 2,700 patents for inventions related to AI, cognitive computing and cloud computing.

“Leading the world in innovation for 24 years in a row is a result of IBM’s unmatched commitment to innovation and R&D–reflected in this year’s new U.S. patent record, breaking the 8,000 barrier for the first time,” said Ginni Rometty, IBM’s chairman, president and CEO. “We are deeply proud of our inventors’ unique contributions to discovery, science and technology that are driving progress across business and society and opening the new era of cognitive business.”

In the Middle East and Africa, IBM inventors contributed 42 patents to IBM's record breaking U.S. patent total of over 8,000 patents in 2016.

More than 8,500 IBM inventors residing in 47 states and territories and 47 countries are responsible for IBM’s record-setting 2016 patent tally.

IBM led other tech giants such as second placed Samsung with 5,518 patents to its name; Canon with 3,665; chipmaker Qualcomm with 2,897; with Google rounding off the top five with 2,835 patents, according to IFI CLAIMS Patent Services.   

In the area of cognitive computing and artificial intelligence, IBM inventors patented more than 1,100 inventions that help machines learn, reason, and process diverse data types while interacting with people in natural and familiar ways.

IBM inventors were also awarded patents on innovations that will help advance cognitive healthcare. For example on using images to better gauge heart health, and using drones to clean microbes in hospitals and agricultural fields.

IBM inventors also patented more than 1,600 inventions that can help advance the field of cloud computing.

IBM scientists also received patents for inventions expected to enable new cybersecurity solutions. IBM last year unveiled solutions that leverage its cognitive Watson platform to deliver cyber security services.   

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