IBM Breaks Record for Most US Patents Granted

(IBM) acquired 8,088 patents in 2016, of which more than 2,700 patents are related to artificial intelligence, cognitive computing and cloud computing technologies, topping in the number of patent registrations in the U.S. Samsung Electronics' advancement in the patent race comes after it has turned more aggressive in investing in research and development. More than 1,600 of its patents revolved around cloud computing.

Ginni Rometty, IBM's chairman, president and CEO, expressed her pride in the progress the company's 8,500 inventors, located in 47 states and 47 countries, are driving in business, discovery, science and technology.

In 2016, IBM was granted no fewer than 8,088 patents. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted 304,126 patents a year ago, up from 298,407 in 2015.

IBM patents have increased since 1993. That figure puts the average at 22 patents received each day.


IBM inventors also garnered patents for their work in advancing cognitive healthcare. One of the most notable is a machine learning platform that generates candidate answers to a question and then determines how good each answer is based on a ground truth about the question - "a baseline that the model knows to be true and can build on". This innovation will help IT administrators pinpoint where problems such as resource constraint may likely happen.

According to the data compiled by IFI CLAIMS Patent Services, Microsoft was awarded 2,398 patents in 2016 in the US.

While it seems that the patent wars between the two are not going to end anytime soon, the 2016 US patent ranking reveals that Samsung is racing ahead of Apple when it comes to snapping up patents.

Leading the pack, and thus remaining the top innovator for their 24th consecutive year, is IBM - the multinational technology company whose diverse array of inventions range from artificial intelligence to cognitive health to cybersecurity. It was followed by Canon with 3,665 and Qualcomm with 2,897 patents. LG Electronics took the No. 7 slot with 2,428 patents followed closely by Microsoft up two notches from previous year to No. 8 with 2,398, a gain of 22% from 2015. Apple, on the other hand, did not even feature in the top 10.

  • Joey Payne