IBM inventors received 9,262 U.S. patents in 2019, achieving a milestone of most patents ever awarded to a U.S. company, and marking the company's 27th consecutive year of U.S. patent leadership.
In 2019, IBM led the industry in the number of U.S. patents granted across key technology areas such as AI, blockchain, cloud computing, quantum computing and security.
In 2019, according to IFI CLAIMS Patent Services, provider of a global patent data platform, U.S. patent filings hit an all-time high with 333,530 patents granted, representing an unprecedented 15% increase from 2018.
IBM was awarded more than 1,800 AI patents, including a method for teaching AI systems how to understand and deduce the nuances and implications behind certain text or phrases of speech by analyzing other related content.
IBM also led in the number of blockchain patents granted, which includes several patents for improving the security of blockchain networks. One patented technique would help in resisting "replay attacks," where an attacker copies and uses signature information from one transaction on a blockchain to later perform other transactions on the blockchain that are not authorized.
IBM inventors were granted more than 2,500 patents in cloud technology, including a patent for a method to jointly manage cloud and non-cloud computing platforms. Working with a unified portal, this technique receives, organizes and streamlines incoming cloud and non-cloud tasks and requests, which could help organizations easily migrate to hybrid cloud platforms.
IBM's quantum computing program continued to grow in 2019. Quantum computing innovations by IBM included a method to scale a quantum computer to support additional qubits, as well as enabling a breakthrough approach for simulating molecules.