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IBM continues its string of patent wins, with Rochester’s help

February 3, 2019

In many sports, there’s one team that dominates year after year.

While those victorious runs can be annoying for the fans of other teams, the winners often ride a successful wave from three to five years.

In the intellectual property or patent game, the winning streak of the dominant player now stands at 26.

IBM was issued a record 9,100 patents in 2018, according to a report earlier this month.

Despite the ups and and downs of its business in the last 26 years, IBM has consistently outdistanced its competitors in protecting its property. Its patent tally was triple what the third-place company racked up.

Samsung was a distant second with 5,850 patents, followed by Canon Inc. with 3,056.

While IBM’s presence in Rochester has steadily dwindled, local Big Blue inventors continue to be big contributors to the patent numbers.

A search of the the U.S. Patent and Trademark database finds that 598 of IBM’s 2018 patents have at least one Rochester inventor’s name on them.

Of course, that doesn’t include IBM inventors who live in Byron, Stewartville or elsewhere, so the local contribution could be much higher.

Rochester, of course, is a pretty bright place, so folks from Mayo Clinic and elsewhere also earned quite a few patents. In addition to the 598 patents from IBM, there were 169 patents awarded to Rochester inventors without IBM ties, for a total of 767.

Rochester’s Big Blue team did slightly top its 2017 numbers, when it tallied 589 patents.

The 2018 patents include many that factored into the creation of Summit, the water-cooled supercomputer machine with deep roots in Rochester. Summit was ranked the fastest computer in the world in 2018 by the TOP500 list.

Overall, IBM says more than 2,000 of its 9,100 patents were related to cloud computing.

Several Rochester patents were linked to cloud computing, including, “Moving a portion of a streaming application to a public cloud based on sensitive data,” issued on Nov. 13 to Rochester inventors Michael J. Branson and John M. Santosuosso as well as Eric L. Barsness of Pine Island.

IBM doesn’t limit its inventors to just traditional technology projects. Some of the 2018 patents were definitely beyond the usual hardware or software areas.

• On Oct. 23, U.S. Patent #10,107,541 was issued for a ”Reusable cold pack.”

“The apparatus includes a body which defines a chamber having two volumes separated by a thin film composite membrane. The thin film composite membrane includes a fabric material sheet, a thermoplastic polymer material sheet, and a polyamide material sheet. A first volume disposed on one side of the thin film composite membrane contains a solvent and a second volume disposed on an opposite side of the thin film composite membrane contains a solute.”

The Rochester inventors are Marvin M. Misgen, Debra Neuman-Horn, Joseph F. Prisco, Kevin J. Przybylski North Port, Fla. resident Joseph Kuczynski.

• On Oct. 2, U.S. Patent #10,087,890 was issued for ”Managing fuel oil mixture in engines.”

“A fuel tank containing a fuel and oil mixture is managed to determine if the fuel and oil mixture contains the correct ratio for a motor. The fuel tank containing a fuel and oil mixture is monitored. A fuel to oil ratio is selected for the motor. A combined viscosity of the fuel and oil mixture is calculated with respect to the fuel to oil ratio, and the temperature of the fuel and oil mixture.…

If the measured viscosity of the fuel and oil mixture does not correspond with the predetermined range, then a user may be alerted that the measured viscosity does not correspond with the predetermined range.”

The inventors are Sarah K. Czaplewski of Rochester, Joseph Kuczynski of North Port, Fla., Jason T. Wertz of Pleasant Valley, NY and Jing Zhang of Poughkeepsie, NY.

• On May 15, patent #9,969,846 was issued for ”Gluten-derived flame retardant macromolecules.”

“A gluten-derived flame retardant macromolecule includes a phosphorus moiety chemically bonded to an amino acid side chain of a gluten protein.”

The inventors are Scott B. King of Rochester, Brandon Kobilka of Tucson, Arizona, Jason T. Wertz of Pleasant Valley, NY and Joseph Kuczynski of North Port, Fla.