IBM Gained Most AI Patents By Far In 2023

(April 16, 2024, 6:36 PM EDT) -- IBM obtained more U.S. artificial intelligence patents in 2023 than any other company, with its closest competitors falling behind by more than 300 patents, according to a Harrity Patent Analytics report announced Tuesday.

The top 100 list released by Harrity has IBM in the top spot with 1,211 AI utility patents obtained in 2023, followed by Google with 870, Samsung with 750, Amazon with 541 and Microsoft with 527. The remainder of the list includes an assortment of banks, insurers, retailers and companies focusing on automotives, telecommunications, medical devices and technology.

The list is meant "to serve as a critical resource for in-house patent attorneys, [research and development] departments, and technology strategists seeking to stay ahead in the fast-evolving landscape of AI technology," according to the data research arm of patent prosecution firm Harrity & Harrity LLP.

When counting total AI patents, Harrity said, IBM still led with nearly 7,000. The same four companies followed it, albeit in a different order: Google — referred to across the report as its parent company, Alphabet — had nearly 5,000 AI patents, Microsoft came next with about 4,400, followed by Samsung with about 3,400 and Amazon with nearly 3,200. Intel also ranked high, taking sixth place with about 1,650 patents.

Representatives for IBM, Google, Samsung, Amazon, Microsoft and Intel didn't immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

The report comes a little more than two months after IFI Patent Claims issued its own report on top companies applying for generative AI patents, using a set of data spanning five years. In that report, IBM was still on top, followed by Google. As with the newer data, IFI also featured Samsung and Microsoft in its top five, but Intel was listed rather than Amazon.

Harrity found that the five companies cited by IFI have the most pending patent applications in AI, with Amazon dropping far down that list. Samsung, IBM and Google each have about 2,000 pending applications, with Samsung taking the first spot with 2,254. Microsoft and Intel are the only other companies with at least 1,000 applications, Harrity said.

Google and Microsoft were the companies with the most patents that could lead to others' applications being denied, given their coverage of "essential technology or methods," according to the report.

When it came to patents that were likely to lead to applications being denied as anticipated, the report found that Google and Microsoft reigned, with 1,145 and 1,068 blocking patents, respectively. The next highest companies — Amazon, IBM and Samsung — were in the 600s, and the numbers dropped dramatically afterward. But the companies with the most blocking patents were also the ones most affected by others' blocking patents: IBM, Samsung and Microsoft.

The companies were essentially the same when looking at patents that would block others from being denied as obvious, except IBM took the lead on blockers.

--Editing by Alanna Weissman.

For a reprint of this article, please contact

Hello! I'm Law360's automated support bot.

How can I help you today?

For example, you can type:
  • I forgot my password
  • I took a free trial but didn't get a verification email
  • How do I sign up for a newsletter?
Ask a question!