IBMers earned a record 6,478 U.S. patents in 2012, the 20th consecutive year IBM has led in U.S. patent issuances — and more than the combined totals of Accenture, Amazon, Apple, EMC, HP, Intel, Oracle/SUN and Symantec.
Not only did 2012 mark 20 years of patent leadership, it was also the fifth year in a row IBM had broken its own patent record. Here is a sample of these inventions…
Patent #8,275,803: System and method for providing answers to questions
This patented invention was implemented in the IBM Watson system and describes a technique that enables a computer to take a question expressed in natural language, understand it in detail, and deliver a precise answer to the question. Read more about the current work in healthcare between IBM Watson and the Cleveland Clinic.
U.S. Patent #8,250,010: Electronic learning synapse with spike-timing dependent plasticity using unipolar memory-switching elements
This patent relates to algorithms and circuits for efficiently mimicking the learning function of brain’s synapses and lays the foundation for a non-von Neumann computer architecture. IBM is working on a cognitive computing project called Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE), which aims to emulate the brain’s abilities for perception, action and cognition while consuming orders of magnitude less power and volume without being programmed.
U.S. Patent #8,341,441: Reducing energy consumption in a cloud computing environment
This patented invention describes an technique that enables more efficient and effective use of cloud computing resources, thereby reducing and minimizing energy consumption.
U.S. Patent #8,121,741: Intelligent monitoring of an electrical utility grid
This patent describes a method that uses sensors and intelligent electricity meters to remotely monitor, manage and adjust power usage across an electric grid.
Other notable patents
1911: IBM’s first patent, #998,631, was issued to John Pierce for a Perforating Machine.
1968: IBM Fellow Dr. Bob Denard was issued patent #3,387,286 for DRAM. He was awarded the US National Medal of Technology in 1988 for the invention.
1981: Gerd Binning and Heinrich Rohrer were issued patent #4,343,993 for the Scanning Tunneling Microscope, which could visualize individual atoms. They earned the Nobel Prize in 1986 for their breakthrough.
1985: IBM Fellow Dr. Mark Dean was issued patent #4,528,626 for “microcomputer system with bus control means for peripheral processing devices” (the IBM PC).
2010: Bob Friedlander and Jim Kraemer were awarded patent #7,693,663 for a “system and method for detection of earthquakes and tsunamis,” that interfaced with warning systems.
2012 U.S.Patent Leaders*
- Samsung 5,081
- Canon 3,174
- Sony 3,032
- Panasonic 2,769
- Microsoft 2,613
- Toshiba 2,447
- Hon Hai 2,013
- General Electric 1,652
- LG Electronics 1,624
*Data provided by IFI CLAIMS Patent Services
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