IBM Leads Gen AI Race, According to New Patent Study

A patent study by Digital Science finds that IBM is leading in Gen AI developments, with the most patent applications, alongside Google and Microsoft

IBM currently holds the most patent applications in generative AI (Gen AI), ahead of fellow tech giants Google and Microsoft.

According to a new study conducted by Digital Science, the companies are leading the AI race, in addition to other leading companies like Samsung, Adobe, Baidu and Intel in the Top 10. Each company is vying for the top position in line with Gen AI driving a patent grant increase of 16% over the last five years, in addition to a 31% increase in applications. 

The global rise of AI has a lot to answer for, highlighting that businesses are keen to continue developing the technology with the hope of transforming enterprise operations.

Transforming the AI landscape

With the digital transformation landscape continuing to evolve, companies are seeking new and improved ways to develop their technology capabilities and understandings in order to keep pace.

According to Digital Science, patent applications are strong indicators of where businesses see future innovation and technological value. Companies that are in the process of developing AI innovations will often seek a patent to protect ownership of their product.

Although AI adoption rates remain low, the high number of patent applications highlights a greater number of innovations to come.

The report suggests that Gen AI patents make up roughly 22% of the total number of AI patents - a figure that is only continuing to grow, with over half a million patents in this area in the last five years. IBM is the leading organisation in this space, boasting more than 1,500 patent applications in 2023. This is more than double the number that Microsoft has.

As a world leader in enterprise AI, IBM is able to provide critical support for a range of key industries. The company’s strategy is to consistently focus on a limited number of areas such as AI, with the company pursuing how AI innovation can cause impact.

How IBM continues to advance in AI

After conducting their own research, IBM found that 82% of business leaders have already deployed Gen AI or are intending to deploy it within the next year. A further 96% are prioritising governance and ethics as they engage in shaping internal and industry frameworks, with data security viewed as a key enterprise challenge moving forward.

IBM is also working towards promoting safe and responsible AI, having formed an AI Alliance with Meta at the end of 2023 to facilitate open-source innovations. Both companies hope to bring together leading developers, scientists, universities and businesses to address real AI safety concerns worldwide. It will also provide a platform for sharing and creating solutions that fit the needs of researchers, developers, and adopters around the world.

The company is also committed to improving worker’s AI skill sets, having pledged to train two million learners in AI by the end of 2026, as part of a wider collaboration with global universities to deliver AI training to adult learners.


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