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International Business Machines (IBM)  — the American corporation, one of the world's largest suppliers of IT.

Berkshire Hathaway - 1,86%
for November, 2017
Revenue and Net Profit billions $

Number of employees





Main article: History of IBM

The corporation arose from the conglomerate of the companies releasing tabulators and chronometers formed even before World War I. Gradually it turned into international a technology colossus, became the pioneer in development of electronic computers, and then, during an era of mainframes — the absolute monopolist. Till 70th years corporation Thomas Watson Sr. and Thomas Watson Jr. headed icons of the American capitalism.

Today in an asset of IBM — the enormous number of patents and the innovative developments in a broad spectrum of areas: punched cards, processors, transistors, storage systems, text editors, databases, operating systems, etc. Being one of the most visible corporations of the 20th century, IBM had also times, difficult for itself. The U.S. Government carried out a series of antimonopoly cases against corporation, critics suspected it of collaboration with the repressive modes.

In 1971 Thomas Watson Jr. resigned, and the corporation began to lose the power over the market when mainframes had a competition from smaller building block systems. Because of bureaucratic red tape during revolution of personal computers a number of errors was made, and at the beginning of the 90th IBM in a row sustained several years losses. Then in the period of Lu Gerstner's government, begun in the mid-nineties, the corporation became profitable, was headed for software development and also for system integration and other services, and this strategy allows IBM grow to this day.

Chronology of events in the history of IBM up to now here


As of January, 2016 as a part of IBM the following divisions function:

In comparison with the beginning of 2015 the structure of the company did not undergo changes.

IBM in Russia and the CIS countries

Main article: IBM Russia

The first representative office of IBM in the USSR appeared still in the early seventies. Now the interests of IBM in Russia are represented by IBM Vostochnaya Evropaaziya LLC company.

Since 2006 in Russia IBM development center functions.

Main article: IBM Ukraine


Data centers

As of the end of 2014 the number of the data centers of IBM servicing cloud infrastructure makes 49.

Performance Indicators

Main article: Financial performance of IBM

2019: Falling of revenue from $79.6 billion to $77.15 billion

In 2019 revenue of IBM started over again falling: it made $77.15 billion against $79.59 billion the previous year. The basic reason of recession is in decrease in demand on the IT equipment. The relevant division (Systems) completed year with turnover in the amount of $7.6 billion whereas in the 2018th it exceeded $8 billion Read more here.

Company takeovers and asset sale

Main article: IBM (company takeovers and asset sale)

Work and personnel management in IBM

Main article: Work and personnel management in IBM

Research and development

2018: Leadership in patents of 26 years

At the beginning of 2019 years the IFI Claims Patent Services company which is engaged in patent researches published the annual rating of the largest receivers of patents. IBM is in the lead 26 years in a row. Afterwards Samsung, Canon, Intel and LG Electronics - the same five, as in 2017 were located.

The companies with the greatest number of the taken-out patents

According to data from Department on patents and trademarks of the USA (United States Patent and Trademark Office, ​USPTO), in 2018 IBM took out 9100 patents, from them nearly a half is connected with the technologies which are the most discussed in IT market, such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, information security, blockchain and quantum computings. The chairman of the board of directors, the president and the CEO of IBM Ginny Rometti said that these inventions demonstrate commitment of the company to "problem solving of which many still did not even think".

IBM is in the lead by patents of 26 years

Among the patents granted by IBM in 2018 there are solutions directed to improvement of communication between AI and the person (Project Debater); quality improvement of control of water ecosystems for protection of sea flora and fauna; systems of fight against schemes of a voice phishing. The senior vice president of Hybrid Cloud and the director of IBM Research Arvind Krishna said in the blog of IBM that special attention in 2018 was paid to mitigation of the consequences of climate change.

According to IFI Claims Patent Services, in 2018 the Bureau by patents and trademarks of the USA granted in total 308,853 patents that is 3.5% less, than in 2017. The Chinese companies increased a total quantity of the granted patents for 12% in comparison with 2017. Bloomberg notes that steady growth of number of the patents granted to the Chinese companies reflects activation of development of own technologies by them.

With 9100 patents of IBM received 6.4% of a total quantity of the patents granted to the companies in the USA. New patents were granted to more than 8500 inventors of IBM in 47 different states and 48 countries.

Noticeable decrease Sony (the 15th place in rating, decrease in number of the taken-out patents for 21% in comparison with 2017) showed, Google (the 11th place, minus 16%) and Qualcomm (the 8th place, minus 12%). Facebook which in 2017 for the first time got in top-50 in general dropped out of a short list.[1][2]

2016: Leadership in the number of new patents

In January, 2017 it became known of preserving of leadership of IBM in number of new patents within 25 years in succession. Reported about it in the research    agency IFI Claims Patent Services.

In 2017 IBM registered more than 9 thousand patents whereas the following Samsung Electronics — 5.8 thousand in the USA. Top three included Canon (3.3 thousand patents).

The leading companies on number of the patents registered in the USA in 2017, data of IFI Claims Patent Services

According to    IFI Claims Patent Services, in 2017 the American patent authority granted over 320 thousand patents that is 5.2% more, than the previous year. For 10 previous years the number of registered patents in the country doubled, notes the Bloomberg agency.

Though patents are registered also in other countries, the USA is absolute world the leader in this respect. Here aim to patent the developments all large international corporations.

In 2017 the majority of inventions of IBM belonged to the artificial intelligence (AI), cognitive calculations, cloud computing, cyber security and other strategically important areas. For example, more than 1400 patents were the share of AI. Some of them describe technologies of the analysis of the human speech and machine learning for unmanned vehicles.

From 2012 to 2017 IBM took out more than 5600 patents connected with AI that on 1 thousand documents exceeds an indicator of Google.

In information security field in 2017 IBM patented about 1200 developments. Among them — technology of fight against hackers which forces cybercriminals to open the websites and the e-mail addresses used in cyber attacks.

IBM saves the first place by the number of new patents thanks to more than 8500 inventors who live almost in all territory of the USA (47 states) and also in 47 countries of the world.[3]


7,355 patents of the USA

In 2015 IBM took out 7,355 patents of the USA. This achievement allowed IBM to head the annual world ranking of the largest receivers of patents the 23rd year in a row. The number of the patents which are taken out by IBM in 2015 includes the different inventions reflecting the growing focus of the company in cognitive solutions and cloud platforms.

The list of ten main receivers of patents * in the USA in 2015 looks as follows:

  1. IBM 7355

# Samsung 5072 # Canon 4134 # Qualcomm 2900 # Google 2835 # Toshiba 2627 # Sony 2455 # LG Electronics 2242 # Intel 2048 # Microsoft 1956

Data are provided by service IFI CLAIMS Patent Services

In the field of cognitive calculations and artificial intelligence inventors of IBM developed new technologies which can help computers to study, to draw conclusions and to manage effectively different data types and also to interact with people naturally and it is clear. For example:

  • The technologies helping computers to distinguish emotions. Throughout the most part of history of information technology development the mankind had to play by rules of machines – to be witnesses, it is necessary to print or press the buttons. During an era of cognitive calculations computers begin to listen and speak with us more and more. The group of scientists of research laboratory IBM in China patented a system which helps computers to interpret correctly words with strong emotional loading and to communicate with us more naturally. (US9117446 patent)
  • The technologies helping computers to study at us. Unlike normal computers, the cognitive systems can study on the experience. Researchers thought up technology which helps computers to understand language at communication with people. The purpose of development consists in helping computers to calculate whether they communicate with the person or machine. The invention in this case could be worked, for example, by the website which sells tickets for actions to calculate the bots managed by speculators. (US9146917 patent)

Inventors of IBM are also engaged in the innovative developments using which it is possible to improve a cloud platform of the company. For example:

  • The technologies helping a cloud platform to function quicker and more effectively. One of advantages of cloud computing is that network resources can be selected in an every spot on the globe. But even in spite of the fact that you can use any resources, the cloud platform works more effectively if waiting time of network between resources and also between end users and resources is minimized. Programmers of IBM developed and patented the method of drawing up topology of available network resources capable to reveal the shortest route of network between them and end users. The best and most effective configuration of resources can be used during their selection. (US8972986 patent)
  • The technologies allowing to use any network resources for performance of work. Inventors of IBM developed for cloud platforms function of a request of additional computing resources from other cloud platforms. It allows to manage intensive loadings which have additional capability to distribution. At the same time the cloud systems to which enough resources is available can also warn other cloud systems about the coming important events. It allows to solve computing problems quickly, effectively and to present them in the beautiful laconic view which will be clear to end consumers. (US9009722 patent)

1200 "cloud" patents

Since the end of 2014 and to the middle of 215 of IBM took out about 1200 "cloud" patents that significantly improves and expands its capability to deliver new innovation cloud services, solutions and opportunities to clients in all branches of the economy.

Patents of IBM on cloud computing cover a broad spectrum of innovations, including acceleration of deployment and security of cloud data processing centers and also simplification of management and service of cloud applicaions and environments of data storage. Here some examples of these patents:

  • Patent of the USA No. 9015164: High availability of a cloud server — the Most important characteristic of the environment of cloud computing is high availability. Possibilities of this invention allow a cloud environment to take instant pictures of the virtual machine which then can be used for recovery.
  • Patent of the USA No. 8949415: Funtsionalno-oriyentirovannaya availability of the virtual machine in network computing environment — Possibilities of this invention allow to reserve the bandwidth of network used by a cloud resource, such as virtual machine when the volume of the high-priority network traffic which is specially intended for the virtual machine falls below threshold value. Reservation of bandwidth of network can be reached by means of suspension of the entering and outbound network traffic of the virtual machine without deactivation of the most virtual machine. It can help to reduce the costs connected with payment which is levied by the supplier of a cloud service for amount of data, transferred on network to the virtual machine and from the virtual machine.
  • Patent of the USA No. 8984132: A system and a technique for safe deployment of applications in a cloud environment — When the software application is installed for accomplishment in the environment of cloud computing, one of the major requirements is security of processing of confidential data. Possibilities of this invention allow to define components and areas of the software application which is used by the protected data and to place these protected data on one and more protected servers. The unprotected data can be placed on one and more public cloud servers. Interaction between the protected and public servers can be provided using safe network connections.
  • Patent of the USA No. 8984134: The unified infrastructure of cloud computing for management and deployment of physical and virtual environments — In cloud solutions physical and virtual environments should be controlled and be developed based on several diverse hardware platforms that can cause considerable difficulties. Possibilities of this invention allow to use a uniform complex which contains necessary equipment rooms and program components for creation of the environment of cloud computing.
  • Patent of the USA No. 8990950: Implementation of selective access control to the data which are stored in the environment of cloud computing — using cloud services of data storage of the organization can significantly increase availability of the data between geographically distributed working groups, however it can result in risk of a compromise of data. Possibilities of this invention allow owners of information to increase control over the data by differentiating access control.

2014: 7534 patents of the USA

In 2014 it took out the record number of patents – 7534. It is the 22nd year in a row when IBM heads the list of the leading patent holders in the USA. Inventors of IBM in 2014 took out on average more than 20 patents a day thanks to what IBM became the first company which in a year registered more than 7000 patents.

The record number of the patents which are taken out by IBM company in 2014 includes 3000 advanced patents (40% of the general indicator) in spheres of cloud computing, analytics, mobile technologies, social business and security. For the last five years of IBM more than twice increased the number of patents within these key directions of development of the company and for the specified period became the leading receiver of patents in the field of cloud computing, Big Data, analytics, mobile technologies, social business and security.

Inventors of IBM also took out more than 500 patents for inventions which will open a new era of the cognitive systems, the using advanced technologies based on Watson.

For 22 years of leadership of IBM (1993-2014), inventors of the company took out more than 81,500 patents.

The list of ten main receivers of patents in the USA in 2014 looks as follows:

  1. IBM 7 534

# Samsung 4 952

  1. Canon 4 055

# Sony 3 224 # Microsoft 2 829 # Toshiba 2 608

  1. Qualcomm 2 590
  2. Google 2 566

# LG Electronics 2 122 # Panasonic 2 095

The number of the patents of IBM which are taken out in 2014 exceeded a total quantity of the patents which are taken out by Accenture, Amazon, Google, HP, Intel and Oracle. In creation of a record portfolio of patents in 2014 more than 8,500 inventors of IBM company living in 46 states of the USA and 43 other countries made the contribution. In 2014 the inventors of IBM living outside the USA promoted receiving more than 34% of a total quantity of patents of the company.

2013: 6809 patents of the USA

The IBM company announced that in 2013 it took out the record number of patents – 6809. It is the 21st year in a row when IBM heads the list of the leading patent holders in the USA.

The portfolio of patents of IBM of 2013 includes various inventions which will help to hold the companies the leading positions in such spheres as cognitive technologies, cloud computing and analytics of Big Data. These inventions will also allow to pass to a new stage of development of the cognitive systems during which computers will be able to study, draw conclusions and to interact with us in more natural, personalized manner.

The number of the patents of IBM which are taken out in 2013 exceeded a total quantity of the patents which are taken out by Amazon, Google, EMC, HP, Intel, Oracle/SUN and Symantec. In creation of a record portfolio of patents in 2013 more than 8,000 inventors of IBM company living in 47 states of the USA and 41 other countries made the contribution.

The list of ten main receivers of patents * in the USA in 2013 looks as follows:

  1. IBM 6 809

# Samsung 4 676

  1. Canon 3 825

# Sony 3 098 # Microsoft 2 660 # Panasonic 2 601 # Toshiba 2 416

  1. Hon Hai 2 279

# Qualcomm 2 103 # LG Electronics 1 947

According to IFI CLAIMS Patent Services

2010: 5896 patents of the USA

IBM announced that her inventors in 2010 took out 5896 patents of the USA that allowed corporation to head the 18th year in a row the world list of the companies with the most vigorous inventive activity.

Moreover, IBM became the company first in the history which took out more than 5 thousand patents of the USA within one year. The scale of this achievement helps to estimate the fact that receiving the first 5 thousand patents by the scientist of IBM required 50 years from the date of foundation of the company in 1911.

Total number of the patents which are taken out by IBM in 2010 almost by 4 times exceeds this indicator at Hewlett-Packard, and more, than at Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, EMC and Google combined. Annually IBM spends about $6 billion for research and development.

Among inventions which IBM selects especially, - a technique of collecting, the analysis and information processing about patients from several sources of medical data for more effective diagnosis of diseases.

One more patent describes the system of forecasting of conditions of traffic on the basis of information analysis which exchange is performed through short-range wireless communication links. It is supposed that this invention will help to notify drivers on abnormal road conditions.

Also in 2010 the company patented a technique of collecting and data analysis, arriving from sensors in computer hard drives, for the high-precision analysis of the seismic phenomena, in particular, of earthquakes that allows to increase efficiency and efficiency of reaction of abnormal services in cases of natural disasters.

One of patents which notes IBM among the most interesting was received by the native of Russia Yury Vlasov, in the 1990th working at Physics and technology institute of A.F. Ioffe in St. Petersburg, and since 2001 - being the employee of a labotatoriya of IBM TJ Watson Research Center located in the State of New York, the USA.

The patent which is taken out by Vlasov together with Solomon Assefa, Walter Bedell and Fengnian Xia describes the technology allowing computer chips to exchange data with the help of light pulses instead of electric signals that gives the chance to increase the capacity of computing systems.

In total the contribution to obtaining patents was made by more than 7 thousand inventors of IBM from 46 different states of the USA and 29 countries of the world. The inventors of IBM living outside the USA promoted receiving more than 22% of the general patent packet of the company for 2010, having provided growth of this indicator by 27% within the last 3 years.

"Patents, as well as inventions which they represent reflect the invariable following to obligations for development of innovations distinguishing IBM and its employees — Kevin Reardon, the general intellectual property manager of IBM and the vice president of the company for development of researches says. — Patent leadership is an important element of our strategy which is focused on formation of technically equipped, interconnected and intellectual infrastructure capable to change how the various systems for support of the reasonable planet work".

Influence of IBM on development of ADP equipment and software

Considerable developments in the information technology industry

  • Mark I (1943)  — the first American computer
  • the first commercial hard drive (1956)
  • IBM/360 (1964)  — is considered to be the founder of the whole class of computers  — "mainframes"
  • SQL
  • IBM PC  — the personal computer which architecture became the standard de facto for the industry for 80th and 90th of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st century. The open architecture of IBM PC in many respects promoted huge success of IBM PC, mass release of PC compatible clones by a set of the companies and finally approach of an era of personal computers and computer revolution.

Besides, the competition to IBM and desire to exceed it was for many beginners of the companies a powerful incitement for own development. At different times just beginning DEC companies Intel Microsoft Compaq, HP and some other competed with IBM.

The computer system of IBM Watson based on DeepQA technology is intended for extraction and information analysis from texts in a natural language and also for quick search of answers to questions. DeepQA is based on statistical approach in computational linguistics, i.e. for creation of the cognitive systems capacities of ADP equipment are used.

Earlier IBM made:

Influence of IBM on development of the Soviet IT

  • The Soviet EU directly is also creatively copied by a computer from computers IBM/360;
  • EU PEVM analogs of IBM personal computers;
  • Operating systems of the EU of a computer were at least compatible to the corresponding operating systems of IBM.


Stock price dynamics

Ticker company on the exchange: NYSE:IBM