For the 24th year in a row, International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) was awarded the highest number of patents while also managing to surpass previous records. The technology giant consistently and significantly invests in research and development with about six percent of its annual revenues being allocated to R&D. While 8,088 patents were awarded to IBM last year, SAMSUNG ELECTRONIC KRW5000 (OTCMKTS:SSNLF) was the recipient of the second-highest number of patents.
IBM’s turnaround strategy has focused on increasing the resources allocated to cognitive computing. One area that IBM’s chief executive officer, Ginni Rometty, has been targeting is the healthcare sector.
“What drives the company’s focus on it is the underlying fact that health care is an instance of people drowning in data. If you don’t have a system that can deal with that data in volume, then the physician has no chance,” Bernie Meyerson, IBM’s Chief Innovation Officer revealed.
According to Meyerson, genomic sequencing and other emerging technologies will further add to the already existing huge piles of information in healthcare.
The patents that were awarded to IBM in 2016 included one that would assist in the detection of cardiac disease by use of cardiac images which characterize the motion and shape of the heart. A patent was also awarded for a drone designed to detect and measure the scope and level of contaminations in institutions like hospitals and other areas.
Focused on healthcare
Out of the 8.088 patents that were added to the technology giant, 2,700 of those were in cloud technology or cognitive computing. Despite the fact that there were only 100 patents focused on the healthcare sector, the majority of the patents in cognitive computing are also applicable to the sector.
Besides IBM and Samsung, the other companies ranking in the top five for the highest number of patents awarded included Canon Inc (ADR) (NYSE:CAJ), QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM), and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL). American firms were awarded 41% of the patents. Compared to 2015, Japanese firms recorded a decline in the number of patents. Chinese, Korean and Taiwanese companies, on the other hand, saw an increase.
International Business Machines Corp rose by 1.35% on Wednesday to close the day at $165.75 a share.