IBM Awarded Record Number of Patents

Posted at: 01/10/2013 6:51 PM
By: Katie Eldred

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Last year marked the 20th consecutive year that IBM has lead the country in the amount of patents it was awarded. The total from 2012 was more than six thousand.

For IBM's inventors, it's all about problem solving.

"We need to attack those problems and come up with solutions," said IBM engineer Tom Gooding.

To them those problems are fun.

"A lot of people get frustrated when they see a problem and see it as in the way, but an inventor will say how can I get around that," said IBM engineer Brian Cragun.

That curiosity may be one of the reason's IBM has lead the country in number of patents for 20 years now. In 2012 they received a record of more than 6,400 patents.

But leading in technology has not been easy.

"There are so many technologies involved and the rate of technology development is so fast you try very hard to keep up," said IBM Patent legal counsel Bill McGinnis.

He says just getting one patent takes time.

"The process in the patent can take several years from the time we fill out the patent application, till the time we get a patent issued," said McGinnis.

For the inventors that patent is the ultimate reward.

"There's nothing like that rush," said Cragun.

"It's always good to see a patent come through, it's cool to see your name up on the plaque," said Gooding.

Year after year of coming in on the top for patents, builds a sense of pride.

"I think it's great that we have a company, where the teams work together to bring the best ideas forward," said McGinnis.

IBM was able to top some companies you've probably heard of. Samsung, Canon, and Sony came in just behind IBM in number of patents.