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IBM Tops 2018 Patent List as AI and Quantum Computing Gain Prominence

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IBM earned a record 9,100 U.S. patents in 2018, marking the 26th year in a row the company has been the top recipient, according to a list of top U.S. patent assignees compiled by research service IFI Claims.

IBM's latest patent haul includes a growing number of inventions related to artificial intelligence and quantum computing, which many see as critical technologies of the future. In addition, IBM received numerous patents for cloud computing and also one for blockchain.

In a statement, IBM noted that patents it received last year were granted to "a diverse group of more than 8,500 IBM inventors in 47 different U.S. states and 48 countries."

While patents can be a useful proxy for innovation, this is not always the case. In recent years, lawmakers and businesses have criticized the U.S. Patent Office for granting too many low quality patents.

Here is the list of the leading 2018 patent recipients:

   Company  2018 Grants
1.  International Business Machines Corp.  9,100
2.  Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.  5,850
3.  Canon Inc.  3,056
4.  Intel Corp.  2,735
5.  LG Electronics  2,474
6.  Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC)  2,465
7.  Microsoft Technology Licensing  2,353
8.  Qualcomm Inc.  2,300
9.  Apple Inc.  2,160
10.  Ford Global Technologies LLC  2,123





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