(Bloomberg) A new study of U.S. patents issued over the past five years shows that artificial intelligence, quantum computers and autonomous vehicles are among the fastest-growing areas of technology, with American companies often in the lead.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued 352,013 patents last year, a 1% decrease that’s likely attributable to work-flow changes because of the coronavirus pandemic.
International Business Machines Corp. received the most patents in machine learning and quantum computers. IBM topped the list of patent recipients for the 28th year with 9,130 patents.
Of the top-10 fastest growing fields, IBM also was No. 1 in areas of quantum computers, machine learning and computer systems using neural networks that imitate how the human brain works. Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Microsoft Corp. also ranked in the top five of those three areas.
“We are focused on areas where we think it will keep IBM competitive in the future,” said Kathryn Guarini, chief operating officer of IBM Research. “We see cloud, AI and quantum as the trifecta of technologies for the IT industry.”

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