IBM has proven it is once again dominant in earning patents, as it closed the year with 8,088 U.S. patents granted to its investors in 2016. That’s the 24th consecutive year that the company has earned the most patents of any company.

The second-ranked company, Samsung, had 5,518 U.S. patents granted. About 2,700 of IBM’s 2016 patents covered inventions related to artificial intelligence, cognitive computing, and cloud computing. The patents covered a diverse range of technologies that also included cybersecurity and cognitive health.

IBM inventors were granted more than 22 patents per day in 2016, making the company the first to claim more than 8,000 patents in a single year.

“Leading the world in innovation for 24 years in a row is a result of IBM’s unmatched commitment to innovation and R&D–reflected in this year’s new U.S. patent record, breaking the 8,000 barrier for the first time,” said Ginni Rometty, IBM’s CEO, in a statement. “We are deeply proud of our inventors’ unique contributions to discovery, science and technology that are driving progress across business and society and opening the new era of cognitive business.”

More than 8,500 IBM inventors residing in 47 states and territories and 47 countries were responsible for IBM’s record-setting 2016 patent tally. IBM inventors based in New York received over 2,700 patents, while IBMers based in California and Texas were granted over 1,000 patents each.

The United States is home to more than half of IBM’s $5.4 billion annual investment in research and development. This substantial commitment to unlocking new technologies is what has long propelled IBM into new markets, allowing it to create value for clients and opportunity for its employees, including the 25,000 Americans the company has pledged to hire over the next four years.

The data was provided by IFI Claims Patent Services.

IBM's patents over time.

Above: IBM’s patents over time.

Image Credit: IBM

In the area of cognitive computing and artificial intelligence, IBM inventors patented more than 1,000 inventions that help machines learn, reason, and efficiently process diverse data types, while interacting with people in natural and familiar ways. The patents ranged from machine learning for securing the best answers to questions, to planning the best route based on a traveler’s cognitive state.

In healthcare, IBM’s inventions include one that uses images to better gauge the health of a heart. Another was a hearing aid personalized to meet your specific needs. IBM inventors also created a way for drones to map microbes in hospitals, food processing plants, and agricultural fields.

IBM also patented more than 1,000 inventions that can help advance the field of cloud computing. For instance, IBM researchers explored how cloud computing could enable resiliency and availability of resources for applications.

In cybersecurity, one of the inventions was for preemptively detecting and isolating cloud application network intrusions. IBM inventors have developed an approach that allows developers to declare fine-grained security policies for their applications by specifying their required degree of isolation. When network breaches are detected, networking between applications — or their subcomponents — can be locked down to minimize the impact of an attack.

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