IBM Obtains Record 9,100 Patents in 2018 Thanks to AI, Blockchain, Others

IBM received over 9,000 patents in 2018, which is a record in the US. Half of the patents relate to AI, blockchain, quantum computing, security, and cloud technology.

US tech giant IBM obtained 9,100 patents last year, which is a record figure. 2018 marks IBM’s 26th consecutive year of being a patent leader. The achievement brought the tech firm over the milestone of 110,000 patents in total. Last year, the company hit the record also thanks to a high number of patents related to artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, cloud computing, quantum computing, and other innovative technologies. In total, these technologies account for about 50% of IBM’s patents received in 2018.

IBM President and CEO Ginni Rometty commented:

“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.”

“Our clients and their customers are the beneficiaries of these innovations, particularly our leadership in AI, cloud, blockchain and security for business,” she added.

IBM has become one of the leaders of blockchain adoption. In mid-July 2018, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced in a single week six blockchain-related patent applications from IBM. One of the inventions is called “private blockchain transaction management and termination.” It revolves around a private distributed ledger system that can be more effective than a public blockchain. 

Thus, IBM is one of the most active promoters of distributed ledger technology (DLT). As of September 2018, media agency iPR Daily reported that Alibaba topped the list with the most blockchain patent applications by company. The Chinese company had 90 applications by that time, with IBM coming in second with 89 applications.

IBM has commercialized its proprietary blockchain technology, which can be used by enterprises to build customized platforms and applications for various use cases. In March 2018, we reported that IBM Blockchain was being used by over 400 companies, including Unilever, Nestlé, Unilever, Kroger, Maersk, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Societe Generale, HSBC, Unicredit, and Santander.

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