US technology company IBM has announced that it received the most patents in the USA in 2015, a position it has achieved for 23 years in a row. The company was granted 7,355 patents across the year, covering a wide range of technological developments, particularly in the emerging areas of cognitive computing and cloud technology.
Sustained Patent Leadership
To retain a leading position ahead of serious competitors such as Apple and Google is a significant achievement and, in a statement released by IBM to mark the occasion, chairman, president and CEO Ginni Rometty said that the company had been granted more than 88,000 patents in the USA alone during its 23 years at the top, and commented on its position at the forefront of technology leadership. “IBM’s investments in R&D continue to shape the future of computing through cognitive computing and the cloud platform that will help our clients drive transformation across multiple industries. IBM’s patent leadership demonstrates our unparalleled commitment to the fundamental R&D necessary to drive progress in business and society,” he said.
US Patent Downturn in 2015
The overall number of US patents granted was down from 2014, and that includes IBM’s own total. This doesn’t necessarily mean that companies are being less inventive than before; there are newcomers to the technology market who are beginning to patent more inventions, and growing global companies are diversifying and their R&D has seen them climb the US patent ranking ladder. For example, Google moved up three places to number five, and Qualcomm has also risen three places, making it to number four. Other big names slipped in the 2015 rankings, however, with Panasonic falling by eight places to number 18 and Microsoft falling five places to number 10 compared to 2014.
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