IBM Tops US Patent List for 2019, Joins LOT Network
ARMONK, NY., Jan. 14, 2020 – IBM inventors received a record 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 patent leadership. IBM also today announced a major step in its dedication to open innovation and responsible stewardship of technology by joining LOT Network Inc, a non-profit community of companies that builds a protective barrier for its members against patent assertion entities (PAEs).
PAEs acquire patents from third parties and some then try to make money through litigation against potential infringers. This can prove not only costly, but can also hamper innovation. LOT Network contains more than two million patent assets. If any of these falls into the hands of a PAE, LOT Network members receive a license to that patent, meaning the PAE will not be able to sue members for alleged infringement of that patent.
In 2019, IBM acquired LOT Network founding member Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of enterprise open source software solutions. In helping to create LOT Network, Red Hat sought to protect innovation in the open source community, and showed that it was a responsible patent steward by agreeing to license its patents to other LOT Network members should its patents fall into the hands of a PAEs.
IBM’s membership supports the protection of innovations for IBM and its ecosystem of customers, developers and likeminded companies across the industry. With today’s news, IBM is adding over 80,000 patents and patent applications under the protection of LOT Network, shielding those patents from PAEs and encouraging industry-wide open innovation.
“As the largest recipient of patents in the U.S. each year for more than a quarter-century, IBM has continued to push the boundaries of innovation, improving the way we live and work, through some of the most disruptive technologies,” said Arvind Krishna, senior vice president, Cloud and Cognitive Software, IBM. “Through our membership in LOT Network, we are joining a group of like-minded organizations, including Red Hat, that see strong value in protecting the traditional uses of patents, while fostering open innovation for today and the future.”
“IBM is a welcome addition to LOT Network’s community of 600-plus companies,” said Ken Seddon, CEO, LOT Network. “IBM has a strong track record of patenting innovation, and a sophisticated IP business. By joining LOT network, they are providing a way for companies to mitigate risk from PAEs, in direct alignment with the mission of LOT, strengthening our collective ability to mitigate patent abuse.”
IBM Tops U.S. Patent List for 2019
In 2019, IBM led the industry in the number of U.S. patents granted across key technology areas such as AI, blockchain, cloud computing and security.
- The company was awarded more than 1,800 AI patents, including a patent for 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 for example 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.
- Among the security patents IBM received in 2019, inventors are conducting pioneering work in the area of homomorphic encryption, a technique that allows users to operate on encrypted data, without having to decrypt it first. IBM was granted a patent that developed a signature-based approach for homomorphic message encoding functions - which helps ensure authenticity of the data.
Since 1920, IBM has received more than 140,000 U.S. patents. This year, more than 8,500 IBM inventors, spanning 45 different U.S. states and 54 countries contributed to the patents awarded to IBM. Read more about IBM's patent leadership here.
*2019 patent data is sourced from IFI Claims Patent Service: http://www.ificlaims.com