IBM’s 2003 Patents Break Record

From IBM’s news release:

IBM earned 3,415 U.S. patents in 2003, breaking the record for patents received in a single year and extending its run as the world’s most innovative company to eleven consecutive years. Led by growth in patents that fuel the company’s latest on demand computing and services offerings, IBM eclipsed the nearest company by more than 1,400 patents.
During the past eleven years, IBM innovations have generated more than 25,000 U.S. patents — nearly triple the total of any U.S. IT competitor during this time and surpassing the combined totals for Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Microsoft, Sun, Oracle, Intel, Apple, EMC, Accenture and EDS.

IBM is the only company to receive 3,000 patents from the United States Patent and Trademark Office in a single year, passing that milestone each of the past three years.

“IBM’s commitment to research and development has driven more than a decade’s worth of patent leadership and is a major factor in our emergence as the world’s leading IT, services and consulting company,” said Nick Donofrio, IBM senior vice president, technology and manufacturing. “That said, we consider patents a starting point on the path to true innovation. What differentiates IBM from other companies is our ability to rapidly apply these inventions to new products and offerings that solve the most pressing business challenges of our clients.”

Innovations Already Driving Business Transformation
IBM is applying thousands of its new patents to accelerate the adoption of on demand computing and to extend the company’s leadership in IT services and consulting.

Notable examples from 2003 include:

  • Self-healing computer system — An advancement in self-healing computer technology available in IBM eServer xSeries systems, this patent describes a system to detect and correct faults or trends that would result in unacceptable performance or function. Customers are thus provided with continuous system availability and need not worry about system down time thereby greatly increasing their productivity. (Patent 6523140: Computer system error recovery and fault isolation)
  • Automated business continuity and recovery — This innovation enables high-speed recovery and relocation of computer workloads in response to an unanticipated system failure or disaster. It is available as a business continuity and recovery services solution for IBM eServer zSeries customers, providing seamless access to backup data in the event that their system fails. (Patent 6636988: Application of automation and procedures to enable high-speed recovery of computer workloads)
  • Accessing page bundles on portable devices — This patent uses statistical analysis of Internet surfing patterns to predict which Web pages a user will want to see and then automatically pulls them together into one bundle, delivering information more speedily and easily, regardless of hardware, bandwidth or the reliability of connectivity. This will enable users of portable devices, such as PDAs, to access more Web content far more quickly. (Patent 6507867: Constructing, downloading, and accessing page bundles on a portable client having intermittent network connectivity.)
  • Manufacturing plant optimization — This breakthrough from IBM Business Consulting Services describes a system for generating an optimized production sequence to control the resources and increase productivity within a manufacturing facility. The method permits factories to match equipment and capacity to expected orders enabling them to provide lower cost products to the public. (Patent 6606527: Methods and systems for planning operations in manufacturing plants)
  • Preventing unauthorized credit card use and identity fraud — This new credit card design, featuring embedded electronics and a keypad, requires a PIN number to activate the card for a purchase. Each time the PIN is entered, a unique code is generated that allows a transaction to be completed. Without the secret PIN, the card is useless if lost or stolen, protecting the public against credit card fraud and identity theft. (Patent 6641050: Secure credit card)

IBM extended its lead in semiconductor manufacturing techniques and technologies during 2003 with more than 1,200 new patents, including an improved silicon-on-insulator (SOI) chip-making process (Patent 6563173: Silicon-on- insulator chip having an isolation barrier for reliability) and a fundamental nanotechnology breakthrough (Patent 6566665: Method and apparatus for linking and/or patterning self-assembled objects).

The 2003 patent results were reported today by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. An agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the USPTO issues patents, administers the patent and trademark laws of the U.S., and advises the administration on intellectual property policy.

Results and rankings also were reported today by IFI CLAIMS Patent Services, which compiles the CLAIMS(c) patent database and annually reports the number of U.S. patents issued to companies. According to IFI CLAIMS, IBM inventors were listed on 24 additional patents awarded to other primary assignees for a total of 3,439 patents.