IT & Network Infrastructure : IBM Patent: 100 Years of High-Tech Innovations

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2011-03-21 Print this article Print
U.S. Patent #998,631:</b><br /><b>Perforating Machine

U.S. Patent #998,631:
Perforating Machine

IBM's first patent (issued July 25, 1911) described an invention related to punched-card tabulation. The company's inventors would receive more than 70,000 patents over the next 100 years.
Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, IBM has consistently pursued patents for inventions that translate into real-world solutions that make systems, processes and infrastructures more efficient, productive and responsive. These inventions range from the first patent IBM received in 1911—related to punched-card tabulation—to patents its inventors received in 2010 for analytics, core computing and software technologies, and smart traffic systems and health care systems. IBM became the first company to be granted as many as 5,000 U.S. patents in a single year; it took Big Blue's inventors more than 50 years to receive their first 5,000 patents after the company was established in 1911. IBM received patents for a range of inventions in 2010, such as a method for gathering, analyzing and processing patient information from multiple data sources; a system for predicting traffic conditions based on information exchanged over short-range wireless communications; and a technology advancement for enabling computer chips to communicate using pulses of light instead of electrical signals, which could increase computing performance. IBM inventors received a record 5,896 U.S. patents in 2010—which marked the 18th consecutive year the company topped the list of the world's most inventive companies. After 100 years and thousands of patents, it is difficult, if not impossible, to come up with a short list of IBM's "top patents. However, this eWEEK slide show is a list of 10 important and interesting patents that epitomize IBM's century-long commitment to invention and innovation.
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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