A cyber attack is every CTO’s worst phobia, and no company could be more acutely aware of security breaches this week than IBM. Amid the chaos of worse-than-expected Intel vulnerabilities – for which IBM will release firmware updates on Tuesday – the US conglomerate has surpassed its record for the number of patents granted in a year.
Despite Spectre and Meltdown woes from Intel, IBM inventors obtained 9,043 patents in 2017, more than any other company in the US for the 25th year in a row. Cybersecurity experts at the firm were granted 1,200 patents last year, including one programme which uses AI bots to bait hackers into email exchanges and websites which expend criminal resources and ultimately frustrate scams. IBM said the technology could “substantially reduce the security risks associated with ‘phishing’ emails and other attacks.”
The industry giant has also broken through 100,000 total patents, topping 105,000 in the US alone between 1993 and 2017. Last year saw the $80bn revenue company copyright ideas in machine learning, artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud and quantum computing.
Formerly known as Bluemix, IBM Cloud consists of public, private and hybrid cloud offerings, with services consisting of Saas, Paas and Iaas. The cloud heavyweight earned 1,900 patents in 2017, including one for a system that uses unstructured data about real-world events (such as news feeds, social networks and weather reports) to forecast local cloud resource needs.