IT giant IBM is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its first patent, which was awarded to it on July 25th, 1911.
The company, which also turned 100 years old this year, was awarded its first patent for an invention related to punch card tabulation, three years after it had applied for it. The company now has patents for phase change memory, nanostructure fabrication, data management and security.
Today the company has more than 150,000 patents the world over, for technology that has helped drive growth in the IT sector.
IBM formed its patent department in 1920, which was responsible for managing the company’s pending and already awarded patents. The company said that it now generates more than a billion dollars annually by merely licensing patents and the sale of intellectual property.
"Patents are a benchmark of innovation, it's not the only benchmark but I'll tell ya it's a heck of a benchmark," IBM Fellow and VP of Innovation, Bernie Meyerson told InternetNews.com.
"It forces you to rigorously say that you are doing things that are foundationally different. The very first patent was the foundation of early automated computing, where the punch card tabulation system is the heart of efficient data processing,” he added.