IBM sets new patent record with AI and blockchain projects

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International Business Machines Corp. was once again awarded the largest number of U.S. patents in 2017, as the company pushes into blockchain and artificial intelligence technologies. IBM, No. 11 in the B2B E-Commerce 300, received 9,043 patents in 2017, breaking the record it set in 2016, the company said Tuesday. A lot of the research that IBM conducts may not translate to immediate business gains, and it could take years before patents turn into a product that pays off. The company also invests in exploratory research unrelated to business lines and goals. Despite winning the most patents for the 25th straight year, IBM is struggling to turn itself around.