IBM leads in US patents for 22 years in a row


For the 22nd consecutive year IBM is leading in US patents, with 7,534 patents in 2014 alone (10% increase year to year). These include, but are not limited to software patents. I personally think software patents are bad, however – while they are still “legal”, one has to have it – if nothing else to defend itself against patent trolls and create a platform to do a patent reform. I sure hope in the future software patents become eliminated completely. See top 50 list of patent assignees on this page.

The US Patent Office (USPTO) has published an interesting report on patent trends in 2014:

  • IBM is at the top of the list with a record-setting 7,534 patents, continuing a dominance that has lasted 22 straight years
  • Microsoft held its #5 position with 2,829 patents
  • Google moved up into the #8 position with 2,566 patents
  • Apple moved up into #11 position with 2,003 patents
  • Amazon moved up into #50 position with 745 patents
  • The USPTO issued a record 300,678 utility patents in 2014, the most issued in a single year
  • Growth in U.S. patent grants has slowed year-over-year from 12.8% in 2012, to 8.2% in 2014
  • The number of patent assignees with 2014 grants has increased
  • Japanese holdings of U.S. grants continue to decline with 18.1% in 2014
  • Chinese holdings have doubled over the same period of time, however they only account for 2% of all 2014 grants
  • 42 companies in the Top 50 saw an increase in patent production over last year
  • The Top 50 firms generated approximately 27% of the total number of patents

See some examples of IBM patents in my earlier post.

Here is the first IBM patent circa 1894:

first_ibm_patent



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