International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) won a whopping 6,809 patents last year, occupying the top spot for the 21st consecutive year, according to IFI Claims Patent Services. Most of the Armonk, New York-based company’s patents were related to cognitive computing, big data, analytics and neutral networks. International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) has an R&D team of more than 8,000 scientists, spread over 41 countries. About one-third of its patents came from overseas.
IBM, Microsoft, Qualcomm: three U.S. companies among top 10
South Korean giant Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.(ADR) (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) was ranked second with 4,675 patents, while Japan’s Canon Inc. (ADR) (NYSE:CAJ) (TYO:7751) came in third with 3,825 patents. Though technology-related patents usually take about three years to process, they signal what areas companies are exploring for future growth. Apart from International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), only two other U.S. companies appeared in the top ten. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) scored 2,660 patents, and Qualcomm, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) won 2,103 patents.
At this year's annual Robin Hood conference, which was held virtually, the founder of the world's largest hedge fund, Ray Dalio, talked about asset bubbles and how investors could detect as well as deal with bubbles in the marketplace. Q1 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Dalio believes that by studying past market cycles Read More
Among other U.S. tech heavyweights, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) was ranked 11th with 1,851 patents and its mobile rival Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) came 13th by winning 1,775 patents. They appeared among top 20 for the first time together. Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) might be struggling in the consumer market, but it still has immense patent power. It was awarded 1,334 patents last year, occupying the 20th spot.
IBM to create a separate division for its Watson tool
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) announced last week that it will create a separate unit for the Watson tool. Watson is a cognitive technology that defeated humans on the TV game show “Jeopardy!.” It can process a plethora of data and answer queries in plain English. The technology relies heavily on recent patents. International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) plans to invest more than $1 billion in the Watson division, that will have a staff of 2,000. In cloud computing, it has patented a technology that can analyze encrypted data without compromising on security. Since 2010, International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) has been spending more than $6 billion on R&D annually.
In the past, the company has sued Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) for violating its patents. International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) generates more than $1 billion in annual patent licensing revenue.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) shares were down 0.14% to $188.50 in pre-market trading Friday.