IBM Breaks Record with 7,534 US Patents in 2014

Big Blue announced Monday that it obtained a record number of patents -- 7,534 -- from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2014, the 22nd year in a row that the company has led the U.S. patent list. Among the areas where IBM saw the most patents were analytics, cloud computing and mobile computing.

Other top patent-getting companies last year included Samsung (4,952), Canon (4,055), Sony (3,224), Microsoft (2,829), Toshiba (2,608), Qualcomm (2,590), Google (2,566), LG Electronics (2,122) and Panasonic (2,095). IBM's performance last year made it the first company ever to receive more than 7,000 U.S. patents in a single year.

The patent figures, based on an annual tally by IFI Claims Patent Services, show that the USPTO last year also granted more patents than ever before over a 12-month period: 300,678.

A press statement from IBM President and CEO Ginni Rometty attributed her company's record to "the kind of fundamental R&D that can solve the most daunting challenges facing our clients and the world." Based on its latest figures, IBM averaged more than 20 new patents per day last year.

Growth in Cloud, Analytics, Mobile

IBM's 2014 output saw more than 3,000 patents -- around 40 percent of the year's total -- in several technologies: cloud computing, analytics, mobile, social and security. Those "strategic growth areas" for IBM have seen the number of patents more than double over the past five years.

Another area that has seen a lot of activity is in cognitive computing, which IBM has grabbed numerous headlines for, particularly in regards to Watson, its Jeopardy-winning smart computer. Cognitive systems helped IBM win more than 500 patents last year.

More than 34 percent of IBM's patents came from inventors who live outside the U.S.

Some of the top patents from Big Blue last year included a...

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