In a recent revelation that has stirred the tech community, IBM has emerged as the frontrunner in AI-related patent applications in the United States, outpacing giants such as Microsoft, Google, and even the AI trailblazer OpenAI. This development, disclosed in an analysis by IFI Claims underscores the intensity and scope of research efforts in the burgeoning field of artificial intelligence.
Over the past half-decade, IBM has filed an impressive 1,591 AI-related patent applications, indicating not just a vast interest but a significant investment in the future of technology. The list following IBM includes notable tech behemoths like Google, Microsoft, and Samsung, among others, signaling a competitive race to dominate this pivotal area.
A remarkable 22% of these patents pertain to generative AI (GenAI), a sector experiencing rapid growth. According to IFI Claims, GenAI patents have seen a compound annual growth rate of 16% in granted applications and an even more striking 31% in new filings over the last five years. This uptick reflects the accelerating pace at which generative AI is evolving, promising groundbreaking advancements across industries.
However, the absence of OpenAI, the brains behind the revolutionary ChatGPT, from the top 25 patent applicants raises eyebrows and questions about the strategic approaches to innovation protection. OpenAI’s low visibility in patent filings suggests a possible preference for safeguarding its advancements through trade secrets, an approach that contrasts sharply with the more transparent patent application process.
While IBM’s dominance in AI patent filings speaks volumes about its commitment to leading the charge in AI development, it’s crucial to note that patents represent only one facet of innovation. Not all patents culminate in real-world applications, and not all groundbreaking innovations are patented. Yet, the strategic accumulation of AI patents by IBM and others highlights the ongoing quest to secure intellectual property rights in a rapidly advancing technological landscape.
Sources include: Axios