received a record 9,100 patents in 2018, marking the company's 26th consecutive
year of U.S. patent leadership. IBM led the industry in the number of artificial
intelligence (AI), cloud computing, security and quantum computing-related
IBM inventors received a record 9,100 patents in 2018 -- marking the company’s
26th consecutive year of U.S. patent leadership -- and led the industry in the
number of artificial intelligence (AI), quantum computing and cloud
computing-related patent grants.
"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."
Overall, nearly half of the 2018 patents relate to pioneering advancements in
AI, cloud computing, security, blockchain and quantum computing.
The industry-leading 1,600 AI patents IBM inventors were granted in 2018 include
new ways to use AI to help us converse and protect the earth's lakes and
waterways. AI also played a large role in the more than 1,400 security patents
IBM inventors were granted in 2018, including an AI-powered security approach to
combat voice phishing.
Some IBM patents granted in 2018 include:
•Project Debater is a first-of-a-kind
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.
•IBM inventors patented an intelligent
system that could be used to identify, characterize, and monitor vertical
temperature profiles and gradients, which affect marine life, in lakes and other
aquatic ecosystems. Analytics combined with the IBM Cloud and Internet of Things
(IoT) mapping has helped IBM along with collaborators to engineer the world's
smartest lake, Lake George.
•"Phishing" occurs when a person or
computer system tries to obtain sensitive information from unknowing victims.
Most recently, phishers have turned to voice phishing, or "vishing," in which
unsuspecting victims are called directly and "vishers" use a voice over IP
(VoIP) system to mask their identity. IBM has patented an AI system that could,
with permission from the primary user, analyze conversation patterns between two
parties in order to identify attempts by one of the parties to deceive the
other. The system could send an alert message in real-time to warn a potential
vishing victim and help company IT experts better prevent and manage computer
and mobile security threats.
IBM inventors received more than 2,000 cloud computing patents in 2018,
including a patent on a specialized monitor for unikernel-based virtual machines
that takes a lightweight approach to improving isolation and security 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.
inventors also continue to break ground in the development of blockchain and its
rapid pace of global adoption. IBM was granted a patent on an approach for
encrypting data stored in a blockchain. Members of a blockchain network can put
data on a blockchain that they would like to share with other blockchain network
members. However, instead of storing the data openly for any of the blockchain
participants to see, members can encrypt their data within the blockchain and
only those that have been given a decryption key can read the data. IBM has
enabled this patented capability to users of the open source Hyperledger Fabric.
IBM researchers also patented significant inventions in quantum computing,
including a new way of miniaturizing components to improve the performance of
The new patents were granted to a diverse group of more than 8,500 IBM inventors
in 47 different U.S. states and 48 countries.