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IBM tops 2018 patent list, Google fails to crack the top 10

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American technology giant IBM said that its researchers earned as many as 9100 patents in 2018, marking the company's 26th consecutive year of U.S. patent leadership. Majority of the patents were granted in areas like (), cloud computing, cybersecurity and quantum computing to a diverse group of more than 8,500 IBM researchers, engineers, scientists and designers in 47 different US states and 48 countries.

Among them, 1,600 patents were granted for AI, 1400 for cybersecurity and 2,000 for cloud computing. Interestingly, IBM inventors from India received over 800 patents, the second highest contributor to the global record tally. One of the patents filed from India includes – structured representation and classification of noisy and unstructured tickets in service delivery.

The innovation of Shivali Agarwal, Gaargi B. Dasgupta, Shripad J. Nadgowda and Tapan K. Nayak helps create problem diagnostics, prediction of outages and prevention of issues in service delivery for help desks. Tickets can contain structured and unstructured text, making it challenging to extract useful information. IBM inventors developed an AI-based approach for structured representation and classification of noisy and unstructured data in tickets used in service delivery.

Samsung came second with 5,850 patents while Apple and Microsoft also featured in the top ten, according to a list compiled by research service IFI Claims. While Apple improved its position from eleventh to ninth this years, the search giant Google which came seventh last year, failed to make into top ten list in 2018.

Top 10 Patent List of 2018

Rank Company Names Number of Patents in 2018
1 IBM 9100
2 Samsung Electronics 5850
3 Canon 3056
4 Intel 2735
5 LG Electronics 2474
6 Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) 2465
7 Microsoft 2353
8 Qualcomm 2300
9 Apple 2160
10 Ford Global Technologies 2123

IBM received more than 1600 patents for AI including Project Debater, a AI system from IBM Research that can debate humans on complex topics. IBM inventors patented an approach to use machine learning to identify evidence, such as relevant text segments in unstructured text data, which supports or opposes a claim or topic under consideration. This could help provide advancements in how machines and humans interact in conversation.

The company also bagged more than 2,000 patents in cloud computing including “Improving isolation between cloud application and host,” a specialized monitor for unikernel-based virtual machines that improves isolation between a cloud application and its host, while also reducing provisioning times and improving performance. The approach is related to IBM's research in container security and could enable organizations to more easily move data and applications securely across cloud and on-premises environments.

Company's inventor also received more than 1,400 cybersecurity patents including “Cognitive Security against Voice Phishing Activity”an AI-powered security approach to combat voice phishing activity, or “vishing” that uses a question answer system that could monitor and analyze a voice conversation between two parties to identify attempts by one party to deceive the other, alerting the potential victim and/or security team in real-time.

IBM said that it was also awarded patents related to IoT including “Water Temperature Mapping and Monitoring to Protect Marine and Freshwater Life,” an intelligent system that could be used to identify, characterize, and monitor vertical temperature profiles and gradients that can affect various organisms and water quality in oceans and lakes. The analytics technologies combined with the IBM Cloud and (IoT) mapping has helped IBM along with collaborators to engineer the world's smartest lake, Lake George in the State of New York.

Also Read | IBM received 9,043 patents in 2017 including 1,400 in AI

“IBM is committed to leading the way on the technologies that change the way the world works – and solving problems many people have not even thought of yet,” said Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and CEO. “Our clients and their customers are the beneficiaries of these innovations, particularly our leadership in AI, cloud, blockchain and security for business.”

In 2017, IBM had received a 9,043 patents, marking the company's 25th consecutive year of U.S. patent leadership and crossing the 100,000-patent milestone.

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Tech Observer Desk at is a team of technology reporters led by a senior editor who brings latest updates and developments from the world of technology.
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