IBM Earns Record 9,100 Patents in 2018, Tops U.S. Patent List

IBM Earns Record 9,100 Patents in 2018, Tops U.S. Patent List

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IBM inventors received a record 9,100 patents in 2018, marking the company's 26th consecutive year of U.S. patent leadership. IBM led the industry in the number of AI, cloud computing, security and quantum computing-related patent grants.

"IBM is committed to leading the way on the technologies that change the way the world works and solving problems many people have not even thought of yet," said Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and CEO. "Our clients and their customers are the beneficiaries of these innovations, particularly our leadership in AI, cloud, blockchain and security for business."

Overall, nearly half of the 2018 patents relate to pioneering advancements in AI, cloud computing, security, blockchain and quantum computing. 1,600 AI patents IBM inventors were granted in 2018 include new ways to use AI to help us converse and protect the earth's lakes and waterways. AI also played a large role in the more than 1,400 security patents IBM inventors were granted in 2018, including an AI-powered security approach to combat voice phishing.

Patents granted in 2018 include Project Debater, first-of-a-kind AI system that can debate humans on complex topics. Inventors also patented an intelligent system that could be used to identify, characterize, and monitor vertical temperature profiles and gradients, which affect marine life, in lakes and other aquatic ecosystems. IBM has patented an AI system that could, with permission from the primary user, analyze conversation patterns between two parties in order to identify attempts by one of the parties to deceive the other.

IBM inventors received more than 2,000 cloud computing patents in 2018, including a patent on a specialized monitor for unikernel-based virtual machines that takes a lightweight approach to improving isolation and security between a cloud application and its host, while also reducing provisioning times and improving performance. They have also continued to break ground in the development of blockchain. IBM was granted a patent on an approach for encrypting data stored in a blockchain.

Researchers also patented significant inventions in quantum computing, including a new way of miniaturizing components to improve the performance of quantum computers. The new patents were granted to a diverse group of more than 8,500 IBM inventors in 47 different U.S. states and 48 countries.

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