IBM today announced that it earned 4,186 U.S. patents in 2008, becoming the first company ever to earn more than 4,000 U.S. patents in a single year. IBM's 2008 patent issuances are nearly triple Hewlett-Packard's and exceed the issuances of Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, Apple, EMC, Accenture and Google -- combined.
IBM used the occasion to announce plans to help stimulate innovation and economic growth. The company plans to increase by 50% -- to more than 3,000 -- the number of technical inventions it publishes annually instead of seeking patent protection. This will make these inventions freely available to others.
Er, could we perhaps make up our minds about intellectual monopolies? Either you're in favour - and want more or them - or against - and want less. You know, the old binary thing. Is it that hard?
15 January 2009