IBM has long been heralded as an innovator in consumer, enterprise and futuristic technology. This is evidenced by the sheer number of patents filed by IBM on an annual basis, with Big Blue being awarded 7,355 patents in 2015 alone.
IBM’s next closest competitor in the patent race of 2015 was Samsung, which received an estimated 5,000 patents.
Experts say that IBM’s pursuit of the patent is mainly fueled by its cloud innovation surrounding cognitive computing, with its popular Watson supercomputing platform highlighting much of the new patents received by IBM.
A report by Bloomberg Business says that IBM has filed more successful patents with the US Patent office on an annual basis than any other business for the past 23 years straight.
This impressive feat helps IBM stand alone, in terms of general computing innovation for the next generation.
“More than 2,000 of IBM’s patents last year were related to its cloud and cognitive computing, many of which are in use and part of the Watson offering’s capabilities,” says Dr. Bernie Meyerson, Chief Innovation Officer at IBM.
“IBM consistently spends about 6 percent of its annual revenue on research and development — less than half that of the average U.S. technology company with a market capitalization of more than $10 billion,” Meyerson added.
Reports show that overall patents being awarded have fallen since last year. Many experts believe that reforms in the methods in which patents are issued can be blamed for the drop in overall patents being awarded.
In fact, a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court has made it more difficult to get patents on software and online business methodologies. Interestingly enough, the top 50 largest businesses were the ones who obtained 26% of all of the patents in the past year.