back to article IBM filed another 8,000 patents in 2016

IBM’s lawyers were busy little bees last year, getting a shade more than 8,000 patent applications granted for Big Blue’s American brainboxes. IBM claims its inventors were granted an average of 22 patents per day in 2016, scoring a total of 8,088 patents. Of those patents, 2,700 were related to AI, cognitive computing and …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just because they're big with billions doesn't mean they're not trolling. But will anyone investigate billion dollar companies? Apparently not, so free pass.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It all depends on how much of those billions you're willing to spend on lobbyists (bribery middlemen) to keep the laws you plan to transgress in your favour. The petroleum/sugar/cigarette/cattle/corn/etc industries have been playing fast and loose for decades all on the good things money can buy; government regulatory influence. At least IBM produces products based on their own discoveries, or you may license them and make your own without fear of patent law getting you down.

      How hard is that?

  2. dervheid

    What are they working on,

    A Von Neumann Patent Generator?

  3. Mike Shepherd
    Happy

    "...machine learning in response to freeform verbal questions posed by humans"

    Let's see how it answers "Have you stopped beating your wife?".

    1. BoldMan

      Re: "...machine learning in response to freeform verbal questions posed by humans"

      > Let's see how it answers "Have you stopped beating your wife?"

      The question you mean is "When did you stop beating your wife?"

    2. ksb1972

      Re: "...machine learning in response to freeform verbal questions posed by humans"

      "Let's see how it answers "Have you stopped beating your wife?"."

      Obviously,"I don't have a wife"

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    generate_patent.sh

    #!/bin/bash

    #usage: <start> <end> <unit> <object> <patent name> <enable_troll>

    reg_patent($1 $2 $3 $4 $5)

    troll_mode = $6

    if troll_mode = true

    book_flight_to_texas()

    fi

    /===END==/

    ./generate_patent 100 300 nm corner_radius "Rounded Corners" TRUE

    Registering 100nm rounded corners...done!

    Lawsuits...filed!

    Flight to Texas...booked!

    Registering 101nm rounded corners...done!

    Lawsuits...filed!

    Flight to Texas...failed!

    Troll unsuccesful...[A]bort / [T]hrow more lawyers at it.

    Flight to Texas...Booked!

    ...

  5. asdf Silver badge

    IBM

    Not sure today what with revenue dropping every quarter since forever but IBM gets a slight pass from me for not being patent trolls. They have invented an awful lot of the tech used today. Of course that was back when they actually made something besides stock buy backs.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A lot of the patents they get are new ways to prolong the lives of their antiquated technologies. Like creating a self-driving steam train.

    IBM encourages its employees to file patents, whether they are actually useful or not. It's all about the headlines. That said, they have acquired some useful technologies over recent years.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      ALL companies do that

      Every medium or large company encourages its employees to file patents on anything they think they can get a patent on. Not because of headlines, but because it helps them defend against patent lawsuits (frivolous or not) and because you never know if something might turn out to be a real earner someday.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmmm?

    Patents for what? Patent trolling, as soon as someone else comes up with products that run rings around Watson?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You file applications, not patents

    What is not given is how many of the applications will actually become patents. This is not a quibble. In the US, a couple of hundred dollars and properly filled-out paperwork will get you an application (no patent agent needed if you are the inventor). Since only a small percentage actually make any money, you may as well file boatloads.

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