IBM brings home crown for most US patents for 20th year in

first_imgBack in 2002 IBM was awarded 3288 patents, making it company that had the most patents that year, and for the tenth year in a row. Fast forward to 2012, and IBM still reigns supreme, being granted 6478 patents over the course of the last year. The 2012 win makes for the  20th straight year that IBM has been awarded more patents than any other entity. Samsung and Canon trailed IBM, placing second and third.Around 70% of the patents awarded to IBM came from within the US, while the rest came from research centers in other countries, like Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Israel, while new labs in Brazil and Kenya aim to raise that foreign influx of patents.As you might expect from a pool of over 6000 patents, the areas they cover are extremely diverse. One of the patents awarded to IBM in 2012 covers the use of GPS to predict traffic patterns, while another focuses on remotely monitoring and changing power usage on an electricity grid. Another patent focuses on making precise answers to natural-language questions, which is tech IBM uses in Watson, its artificial intelligence computer system.The general populace most likely hasn’t heard much from IBM in a while, but the licensing of its patents alone generates around $1 billion a year in revenue. IBM spends around $6 billion a year on research and development, and has been awarded more than 67,000 patents since 1993.Though IBM was awarded the most patents this year, that 6,478 mark is only a fraction of the total patents the US Patent and Trademark Office issued — a grand total of 253,155.Manny Schecter, IBM chief patent counsel, says that the company’s intellectual property strategy reflects its business strategy, and considering this is the 20th year in a row the company has pulled down the most patents, it would be difficult to disagree.More at IBMlast_img read more