IBM claims most patents in 2013

IBM received more U.S. patents than any other company in 2013, according to data from patent database firm IFI Claims.

The Armonk, N.Y.-based company received 6,809 patents, 5 percent more than the previous year, and about 2,100 more than Samsung Electronics, the second-highest earner last year.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued 277,835 utility patents (usually issued for process and machine inventions) in 2013, about 10 percent more than 2012 and the most issued in one year, IFI said.

IBM’s patents included software to help supercomputer Watson better interpret questions asked in a natural language and a simulation to aid in drug development, among others.

For the first time, Google and Apple broke into the top 20 receivers of patents, according to the data.

— Mohana Ravindranath

Report: PC sales
see a steep decline

Personal computer shipments in the last quarter of 2013 showed the worst annual decline in the market’s history.

A report by the Gartner research firm said global shipments reached 82.6 million units in 2013, between desktop PCs and notebook computers. The decline marked the seventh consecutive quarter that shipments have slowed and represents a 6.9 percent decline from 2012.

“Strong growth in tablets continued to negatively impact PC growth in emerging markets,” Gartner principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa said in a statement.

In the United States, PC shipments totaled 15.8 million units in the last quarter of 2013, a 7.5 percent decline since 2012. Hewlett-Packard led shipments in the United States, accounting for about a quarter of the market, despite a 10.3 percent decline in shipments since 2012.

Lenovo led the global PC market with an 18.1 percent share of the market, up 6.6 percent since 2012, Gartner calculated. The company showed growth in all regions except China.

— Mohana Ravindranath