For the eleventh year in row, IBM has earned more technology patents than other technology company in the world. There were many areas of innovation at IBM, including digital media, data management and content management. In addition to more than 3,000 overall new patents, nearly 100 fall into the many faceted area of enterprise content management.

Enterprise content management is a set of technologies and a framework for creating, managing, integrating, Web enabling and delivering unstructured digital content across the enterprise and beyond – to employees, customers and trading partners – that creates real business value. ECM is the catch phrase of the moment including Web content management, records management, e-mail archiving, digital asset management and imaging.

IBM earned 3,415 U.S. patents in 2003, breaking the record for patents received in a single year and extending its run as the world's most innovative company to eleven consecutive years. Led by growth in patents that fuel the company's latest on demand computing and services offerings, IBM eclipsed the nearest company by more than 1,400 patents.

During the past eleven years, IBM innovations have generated more than 25,000 U.S. patents – nearly triple the total of any U.S. IT competitor during this time and surpassing the combined totals for Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Microsoft, Sun, Oracle, Intel, Apple, EMC, Accenture and EDS. IBM is the only company to receive 3,000 patents from the United States Patent and Trademark Office in a single year, passing that milestone each of the past three years.

IBM is applying thousands of its new patents to accelerate the adoption of on demand computing and to extend the company's leadership in IT services and consulting.

Notable examples from 2003 include:

  • Self-healing computer system – An advancement in self-healing computer technology available in IBM eServer xSeries systems, this patent describes a system to detect and correct faults or trends that would result in unacceptable performance or function. Customers are thus provided with continuous system availability and need not worry about system down time thereby greatly increasing their productivity
  • Automated business continuity and recovery – This innovation enables high-speed recovery and relocation of computer workloads in response to an unanticipated system failure or disaster. It is available as a business continuity and recovery services solution for IBM eServer zSeries customers, providing seamless access to backup data in the event that their system fails.
  • Accessing page bundles on portable devices – This patent uses statistical analysis of Internet surfing patterns to predict which Web pages a user will want to see and then automatically pulls them together into one bundle, delivering information more speedily and easily, regardless of hardware, bandwidth or the reliability of connectivity. This will enable users of portable devices, such as PDAs, to access more Web content far more quickly. page bundles on a portable client having intermittent network connectivity.)
  • Manufacturing plant optimization – This breakthrough from IBM Business Consulting Services describes a system for generating an optimized production sequence to control the resources and increase productivity within a manufacturing facility. The method permits factories to match equipment and capacity to expected orders enabling them to provide lower cost products to the public.
  • Preventing unauthorized credit card use and identity fraud – This new credit card design, featuring embedded electronics and a keypad, requires a PIN number to activate the card for a purchase. Each time the PIN is entered, a unique code is generated that allows a transaction to be completed. Without the secret PIN, the card is useless if lost or stolen, protecting the public against credit card fraud and identity theft.

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