IBM breaks U.S. patent record in 2014

IBM has announced that it received a record 7,534 patents in 2014 - marking the 22nd consecutive year that the company topped the annual list of U.S. patent recipients.

IBM inventors earned an average of more than 20 patents per day in 2014, propelling the company to become the first to surpass more than 7,000 patents in a single year.

"IBM's continued investment in research and development is key to driving the transformation of our company, as we look to capture the emerging opportunities represented by cloud, big data anlytics, security, social and mobile," said Ginni Rometty, IBM's chairman, president and CEO.

"IBM's patent leadership over more than two decades demonstrates our enduring commitment to the kind of fundamental R&D that can solve the most daunting challenges facing our clients and the world.”

The company’s record-setting 2014 patent output was led by more than 3,000 patents – 40 per cent of its annual total – covering a range of cloud computing, analytics, mobile, social and security inventions. Over the past five years, IBM has more than doubled its output of patents within these strategic growth areas and was the leading recipient of cloud, analytics, mobile, social and security patents during this period.

IBM inventors also received more than 500 patents for inventions that will usher in the era of cognitive systems, including new Watson related cognitive technologies.

During IBM’s 22 years atop the patent list (1993-2014), the company’s inventors have received more than 81,500 U.S. patents.

The Top Ten list of 2014 U.S. patent recipients* includes:

1. IBM - 7,534

2. Samsung - 4,952

3. Canon - 4,055

4. Sony - 3,224

5. Microsoft - 2,929

6. Toshiba - 2,608

7. Qualcomm - 2,590

8. Google - 2,566

9 LG Electronics - 2,122

Panasonic - 2,095

The company's 2014 patent count exceeded the combined totals of Accenture, Amazon, Google, HP, Intel and Oracle.

More than 8,500 IBMers residing in 46 states and territories and 43 countries are responsible for IBM's 2014 patent tally. IBM inventors who reside outside the U.S. contributed to more than 34 per cent of the company's 2014 patents.

The patent output also features thousands of inventions that will enable important cloud computing, analytics, mobile, social and security advancements, such as:

  • U.S. Patent #8,661,132: Enabling service virtualization in a cloud
  • U.S. Patent #8,874,638: Interactive analytics processing
  • U.S. Patent #8,903,360: Mobile device validation
  • U.S. Patent #8,706,648: Assessing social risk due to exposure from linked contacts
  • U.S. Patent #8,869,274: Identifying whether an application is malicious
  • U.S. Patent #8,639,497: Natural language processing (‘NLP’)