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IBM has announced its 13th successive year as patents king while cheering a community and government backed program to "improve" the quality of US patents.

IBM, which has repeated its award for most patents received with the predictability of a politburo leader being again "voted" as leader, timed the news to hit as it supported the measures to "help accelerate innovation in the US."

The measures, supported by the US Patent and Trademarks Office (USPTO) and the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL), introduce a review of patents, the establishment of open source as "prior art", and a patent quality index.

IBM notched up 2,941 patents in 2005 with Cannon Kabushiki Kaisha coming in second with 1,828.

While IBM last January announced 500 IBM of its patents would be released to the open source community, some have expressed unease over IBM's apparently insatiable desire to register patents. Microsoft's chief software architect Bill Gates, meanwhile, has made it his company's goal to emulate IBM.®

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