IBM Smashes U.S. Patent Record Again, with 8,000+ U.S. Patents in 2016

IBM broke the U.S. patent record with 8,088 patents granted to its inventors in 2016. IBM’s 2016 patent output covers inventions in artificial intelligence and cognitive computing, cognitive health, cloud, cybersecurity and other strategic growth areas for the company.

It was the 24th year in a row that IBM held the number-one slot in the 2016 IFI CLAIMS U.S. Top 50, compiled by  IFI CLAIMS Patent Services, in its annual ranking of top patent recipients. Using proprietary algorithms to analyze U.S. Patent and Trademark Office data, IFI CLAIMS ranks global patent assignees by number of utility patents received each calendar year.

IBM inventors were granted more than 22 patents per day in 2016, making the company the first to surpass 8,000 patents in a single year, with more than 2,700 of those patents granted for inventions related to AI, cognitive computing and cloud computing. In the area of cognitive computing and artificial intelligence, IBM inventors patented more than 1,100 inventions that help machines learn, reason, and efficiently process diverse data types while interacting with people in natural and familiar ways.

More than 8,500 IBM inventors residing in 47 states and territories and 47 countries are 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. The U.S. is home to more than half of IBM's $5.4 billion annual investment in research and development.

Fueled by IBM and a range of West Coast tech companies, the U.S. saw patent increases from 10 of its 17 firms on the list,  including Amazon, Apple, AT&T, Boeing, Cisco, Ford, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and Texas Instruments, according to IFI CLAIMS.  While Apple increased counts, it remained at number 11. Steady at 2835 grants, Google still held onto the number 5 spot with number-6 Intel close on its heels.

Following IBM, the Top Ten list of 2016 U.S. patent recipients, according to IFI CLAIMS, includes Samsung Electronics at 5,518 patents, Canon at 3,665, Qualcomm at 2,897, Google at 2,835 Intel at 2,784, LG Electronics at 2,428, Microsoft at 2,398, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. at 2,288, and Sony at 2,181.