Leads patent list for 2011, breaks US record
In what has become an annual ritual, IBM announced its 19th consecutive year of U.S. patent leadership.
Big Blue said patent leadership is an important part of its "high-value business model", and that it invests about $6 billion annually in R&D.
IBM said it was awarded over 6,000 patents in 2011. That’s more than four times HP and six times Oracle (and Sun).
IBM said 8,000 IBMers residing in 46 different U.S. states and 36 countries are responsible for the company’s record-breaking 2011 patent tally.
After IBM in the patent stakes for 2011 came Samsung, Canon, Panasonic, Toshiba, Microsoft, Sony, Seiko Epson, Hon Hai and then Hitachi.
"IBM’s commitment to invention and scientific exploration is unmatched in any industry and the results of this dedication to enabling innovation is evidenced in our nearly two decades of U.S. patent leadership," said Ken King, general manager, Intellectual Property and vice president, Research Business Development, IBM. "The inventions we patent each year deliver significant value to IBM, our clients and partners and demonstrate a measurable return on our approximately $6 billion annual investment in research and development."
Patents granted included U.S. Patent #8,019,992: Method for granting user privileges in electronic commerce security domains; U.S. Patent #8,037,000: Systems and methods for automated interpretation of analytic procedures and U.S. Patent #8,005,773: System and method for cortical simulation. This describes a method for developing a computerized brain simulation system that can mimic the cognitive systems and function of the cortex of the brain. IBM has fabricated working prototypes of experimental computer chips designed to emulate the brain’s abilities for perception, action and cognition.
Patents are not without their controversy, of course. Some believe patents are issued too freely, potentially stifling innovation, while others seek redress with the law when they believe rival inventions sail too near to their own patents. What say you – is the US patent system protecting innovation or stifling it? Please comment below or tweet me.