With 930 patents, IBM India emerged as the second highest contributor to the Armonk, New York based technology giant’s 9,130 patent tally in the year 2020.
This is the fourth consecutive year when India has been second only to the US for its contributions to IBM’s patent list. Indian employees accounted for 900 from a total of 9,262 patents granted to the company in 2019.
Big Blue has topped the US patent list for 28 years in a row. In second and third place this year were South Korean electronics manufacturer Samsung Electronics with 6,415 and Japanese imaging technologies major Canon with 3,225 patents.
IBM led the industry in the number of artificial intelligence (AI), cloud, quantum computing and security related patents.
Out of the 9,130, over 2,300 patents were given in the area of AI based technologies with approvals being provided for AI virtual agents.
Most of the AI patents are expected to be incorporated into IBM’s AI platform Watson. The year 2020 also saw solutions based on Watson’s Project Debater, a bot capable of debating with humans, being commercialised and offered to its enterprise clients. IBM described debater as a technology that digests massive amounts of text and constructs a speech on any given topic.
“IBM’s sustained commitment to investing in research and development, both in good and in challenging times, has paved the way for new products and new frontiers of information technology,” Darío Gil, senior vice president and director of IBM Research.
In terms of hybrid cloud capabilities, IBM received more than 3,000 patents for solutions in the areas of edge computing, public cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) and analytics among others. Some of the notable launches include the IBM edge application manager in May 2020 and the IBM cloud for telecommunications in November 2020.
IBM received over 1,400 patents for security related solutions aimed at highly regulated industries.
An interesting case study was the method of homomorphic encryption, a method by which computation of data can be done even when the data is encrypted, letting go of the need for decryption and encryption after processing data.
IBM added that it has provided free access to over 80,000 of its patents and patent applications that could help diagnose, prevent or treat Covid 19, as part of its ‘Covid Pledge’ in April 2020.
As for security, IBM said over 1400 patents were received for security solutions aimed at highly regulated industries.
The most noteworthy mover in the list compiled by IFI CLAIMS Patent Services was Sanjay Mehrotra led IT firm Micron Technology, which saw its patent tally increase from 1,535 in 2019 to 3,081 in 2020.