For a remarkable 24 years, IBM has led America in most patents awarded each year.
2016 was extra special for the innovating firm, as it’s 8,088 new US patents—that’s more than 20 per day on average—beat the next company by 2,500 patents and set a new record.
“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,” said IBM CEO Ginni Rometty.
Canon, who was the last company to out-patent IBM all the way back in 1992, added fewer than half the patents IBM did in 2016.
“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,” added Rometty.
IBM, who invests more than $5 billion annually into R&D, generated nearly 3,000 patents tied to the rapidly emerging fields of artificial intelligence, cognitive computing and cloud computing—as many patents as Google received in total for 2016. Which means if Watson were his own company, he’d be receiving as many patents as many major tech titans.