IBM Tops U.S. Patent List for 2019

IBM tops U.S. Patent list for 27th consecutive year

Since 1920, IBM has received more than 140,000 U.S. patents. In 2019, more than 8,500 IBM inventors, spanning 45 different U.S. states and 54 countries contributed to the patents awarded to IBM. IBM inventors received a record 9,262 U.S. patents in 2019, achieving a milestone of most patents ever awarded to a U.S. company and marking the company’s 27th consecutive year of patent leadership.

Innovation in key technology areas

In 2019, IBM led the industry in the number of U.S. patents granted across key technology areas such as AI, blockchain, cloud computing, quantum computing and security.

ibm ai patents

Artificial Intelligence

IBM was awarded more than 1,800 AI patents, including a patent for a method for teaching AI systems how to understand and deduce the nuances and implications behind certain text or phrases of speech by analyzing other related content.

ibm blockchain patents


IBM also led in the number of blockchain patents granted, which includes several patents for improving the security of blockchain networks. One patented technique would help in resisting 'replay attacks', where an attacker copies and uses signature information from one transaction on a blockchain to later perform other transactions on the blockchain that are not authorized.

ibm blockchain patents
ibm cloud patents

Cloud Computing

IBM inventors were granted more than 2,500 patents in cloud technology, including for example a patent for a method to jointly manage cloud and non-cloud computing platforms. Working with a unified portal, this technique receives, organizes and streamlines incoming cloud and non-cloud tasks and requests, which could help organizations easily migrate to hybrid cloud platforms.

ibm quantum patents

Quantum Computing

IBM’s quantum computing program continued to grow significantly in 2019. Quantum computing innovations by IBM included for example a method to scale a quantum computer to support additional qubits, as well as enabling a breakthrough approach for simulating molecules.

ibm quantum patents
ibm security patents


Among the security patents IBM received in 2019, inventors are conducting pioneering work in the area of homomorphic encryption, a technique that allows users to operate on encrypted data, without having to decrypt it first. IBM was granted a patent that developed a signature-based approach for homomorphic message encoding functions - which helps ensure authenticity of the data.

Latest IBM patent news

IBM Joins LOT Network in Major Step to Promote and Protect Open Innovation

IBM today announced a major step in its dedication to open innovation and responsible stewardship of technology by joining LOT Network Inc, a non-profit community of companies that builds a protective barrier for its members against patent assertion entities (PAEs).

January 2020

Visit our blog to stay up to date with the latest news from IBM Research

Red Hat embraces IBM’s decision to join the LOT Network

January 2020

IBM Tops U.S. Patent List for 2019

January 2020

Continue exploring our innovations and discoveries

5 in 5

IBM Research predicts five innovations that will change our lives within five years.

Project Debater

Project Debater is the first AI system that can debate humans on complex topics. The goal is to help people build persuasive arguments and make well-informed decisions.

Heavy Metal Free Battery Design

IBM Research is building on a long history of materials science innovation to unveil a new battery discovery. This new research could help eliminate the need for heavy metals in battery production and transform the long-term sustainability of many elements of our energy infrastructure.

IBM Q System One

To make quantum computers more reliable and stable, IBM Q designed and built the world’s first integrated quantum computing system for commercial use: IBM Q System One.