IBM filed another 8,000 patents in 2016

Hear that? That's the sound of IP lawyers rubbing their hands with glee


IBM’s lawyers were busy little bees last year, getting a shade more than 8,000 patent applications granted for Big Blue’s American brainboxes.

IBM claims its inventors were granted an average of 22 patents per day in 2016, scoring a total of 8,088 patents.

Of those patents, 2,700 were related to AI, cognitive computing and cloud computing.

“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,” said chief exec Ginny Rometty in a canned quote.

Patents picked out for your reading pleasure by Big Blue include its July 2016 filing, “Training machine learning models for open-domain question answering system”, which relates to machine learning in response to freeform verbal questions posed by humans.

Other brainteasers include “Proactive identification of hotspots in a cloud computing environment,” which is all about finding performance and resource bottlenecks in cloud-based systems before they have a significant impact on users, and “Security management in a networked computing environment>Security management in a networked computing environment ”. The last one is a rather optimistic effort to reduce the level of successful phishing attacks through better message filtering.

As The Register put it last year when IBM made the exact same boast about its 2015 patent activities, it’s “about as usual as Alexander Lukashenko sweeping to a fresh presidential term in Belarus.”

Intriguingly, Microsoft has risen from 10th place to 8th place in the list of top 10 patent applications – possibly heralding a slow return to the third place position it held in 2009. Intel has risen from ninth place last year to sixth this year, filing 2,700 patents over the last 12 months.

“While patents aren't the only barometer of innovation, they are an essential foundation for where and how a company like IBM will innovate and pave the way for breakthroughs, growth and leadership in these markets,” said an IBM canned statement. Not to mention the ability to start endless years of patent lawsuits, diverting millions of pounds into the pockets of law firms. ®

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • Infosys skips government meeting – and collecting government taxes
    Tax portal wobbles, again

    Services giant Infosys has had a difficult week, with one of its flagship projects wobbling and India's government continuing to pressure it over labor practices.

    The wobbly projext is India's portal for filing Goods and Services Tax returns. According to India's Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), the IT services giant reported a "technical glitch" that meant auto-populated forms weren't ready for taxpayers. The company was directed to fix it and CBIC was faced with extending due dates for tax payments.

    Continue reading
  • Google keeps legacy G Suite alive and free for personal use
    Phew!

    Google has quietly dropped its demand that users of its free G Suite legacy edition cough up to continue enjoying custom email domains and cloudy productivity tools.

    This story starts in 2006 with the launch of “Google Apps for Your Domain”, a bundle of services that included email, a calendar, Google Talk, and a website building tool. Beta users were offered the service at no cost, complete with the ability to use a custom domain if users let Google handle their MX record.

    The service evolved over the years and added more services, and in 2020 Google rebranded its online productivity offering as “Workspace”. Beta users got most of the updated offerings at no cost.

    Continue reading
  • GNU Compiler Collection adds support for China's LoongArch CPU family
    MIPS...ish is on the march in the Middle Kingdom

    Version 12.1 of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) was released this month, and among its many changes is support for China's LoongArch processor architecture.

    The announcement of the release is here; the LoongArch port was accepted as recently as March.

    China's Academy of Sciences developed a family of MIPS-compatible microprocessors in the early 2000s. In 2010 the tech was spun out into a company callled Loongson Technology which today markets silicon under the brand "Godson". The company bills itself as working to develop technology that secures China and underpins its ability to innovate, a reflection of Beijing's believe that home-grown CPU architectures are critical to the nation's future.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022