Pinoy IBM scientists granted US patent for blockchain database

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A trio of Filipino IT professionals who previously worked as a team at IBM Philippines has been granted a US patent on “managing a database management system using a blockchain database.”

Photo shows team member Dr. Alexis Pantola, blockchain architect at the IBM Philippines Client Innovation Center, during an event in 2014

The team was composed of Dr. Alexis Pantola, Wyndell Love Bibera, and James Arnold Faeldon. Although they are credited as inventors, the patent was assigned to tech giant IBM, which filed the patent application. Pantola still works as a blockchain architect at IBM Philippines, but Bibera and Faeldon have already left the company.

The patent is part of the record 9,262 US patents that IBM inventors received in 2019 — achieving a milestone of most patents ever awarded to a US company and marking IBM’s 27th consecutive year of patent leadership.

IBM has received more than 140,000 US patents since 1920. In 2019, more than 8,500 IBM inventors, spanning 45 different US states and 54 countries contributed to the patents awarded to IBM.

The tech behemoth led the industry in the number of patents granted across key technology areas such as AI, blockchain, cloud computing, quantum computing, and security.

  • The company was awarded more than 1,800 AI patents, including a method for teaching AI systems how to understand and deduce the nuances and implications behind certain text or phrases of speech by analyzing other related content.
  • IBM also led in the number of blockchain patents granted, which includes several patents for improving the security of blockchain networks. One patented technique would help in resisting ‘replay attacks’, where an attacker copies and uses signature information from one transaction on a blockchain to later perform other transactions on the blockchain that are not authorized.
  • IBM inventors were granted more than 2,500 patents in cloud technology, including for example a patent for a method to jointly manage cloud and non-cloud computing platforms. Working with a unified portal, this technique receives, organizes and streamlines incoming cloud and non-cloud tasks and requests, which could help organizations easily migrate to hybrid cloud platforms.
  • Among the security patents IBM received in 2019, inventors are conducting pioneering work in the area of homomorphic encryption, a technique that allows users to operate on encrypted data, without having to decrypt it first. IBM was granted a patent that developed a signature-based approach for homomorphic message encoding functions – which helps ensure authenticity of the data.

“The pace of innovation continues to accelerate and reach unprecedented levels, especially in IBM’s Labs. Technology advances – whether AI, cloud or quantum computing – will all contribute to solving the biggest challenges facing business and society,” said Dr. John E. Kelly III, executive vice president at IBM.

“Businesses around the world, and across virtually all industries, rely on IBM technology for mission critical applications and sustained innovation. We are very proud of the talented individuals across IBM who change the world through their inventions.”

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