IFI CLAIMS Technology Spotlight: Quantum Computing

Traditional, transistor-centered computers have certainly revolutionized the world. But there is only so much that classic computing can do. Not even supercomputers are mighty enough to solve the hurdles of modern scientific knowledge. When a problem is multidimensional and contains incalculable variables that could interact with one another, quantum computing, underpinned by qubits, has the processing capacity for solving
intricate problems and detecting delicate patterns.

IBM: Quantum Leaps and Bounds Ahead of Competitors

After nearly three decades of winning the top spot on the IFI CLAIMS list of companies that hold the most patents in the US, IBM announced earlier this year that the company was shifting its innovation strategy toward more selective patenting in five key technology areas. Quantum computing is one of those areas, and IBM has a solid lead in its overall number of quantum computing applications in the last year.

Top Companies Patenting in Quantum Computing

Quantum Patents Processing Power

Over the past few years, patent grants and applications in this transformative computer technology have taken off. The compound annual growth rate in this technology over the past 10 years for grants is 27 percent. For applications, it’s even higher at 36 percent.

Application & Grant Trends of Quantum Computing

What Lies Beneath Quantum Computing

Quantum computing takes in the complexity of problems with ever-changing parts, and the technologies under its patent umbrella indicate the intricacies of the area. Cryptographics and network security protocols, for instance, furnish the secure connections that protect privacy between multiple participants. Doing it on a nano-scale multiplies the functionality.

Circle GraphCryptographics & Network Security protocols: 813 Quantum communication transmissions: 346 Quantum computing: 328 Nanotechnology for information processing: 679 Superconducting devices: 479

Recent Apps in Quantum

Of quantum computing patent applications in the past year (patent applications are the best indicator for what companies are pursuing right now), Google is filling the most space. Microsoft, meanwhile, is claiming space in superconducting devices, logic circuits, and nanotechnology for information processing.

Top CPC Codes

Quantum’s Hot Shot Patent

How do you know if an invention is something special? Other patents cite it when laying out their own novelties. The provided patent for a market orchestration system that facilitates electronic transactions has been cited by VMWare, Siemens, Rockwell, Capital One, IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, Block, Meta, and Coinbase. Also worth noting though is that it’s been self-cited plenty by its owner, Strong Force. Because patent strategies can be complex, it’s hard to know why a patent would be heavily self-cited. But it could indicate that a firm has a strong competitive position in a particular technology and wishes to rely on internally developed technologies in order to reduce the obstacles that can come from citing outside patent owners.