While I have no clue why IBM needs to file so many patents, VentureBeat reports that Big Blue closed the year with 8,088 new U.S. patents. IBM filed the most patents of any company, a feat it has managed to achieve for 24 consecutive years.
The runner-up is Samsung, with 5,518 U.S. patents granted, followed by Canon with 3,665 patents. Around 2,700 of IBM's new patents cover artificial intelligence, cognitive computing, and cloud computing. The firm's inventors were also granted patents in a wide variety of other fields, including healthcare and cybersecurity.
“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 CEO, in a statement. “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.”
More than 8,500 IBM inventors residing in 47 states and territories and 47 countries were responsible for IBM’s record-setting 2016 patent tally. IBM inventors based in New York received over 2,700 patents, while IBMers based in California and Texas were granted over 1,000 patents each.