Instacart acquires more than 250 patents from IBM

For the past 28 years, IBM has been granted more patents than any other company in the US.

The online grocery platform Instacart has acquired more than 250 patents from IBM, the companies announced Tuesday. Additionally, the two companies entered into a mutual patent cross license. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Patents are a big business for IBM. Since 1920, IBM has collected more than 150,000 US patents. For the past 28 years, Big Blue has been granted more patents than any other company in the US. In 2020 alone, it received 9,130 US patents.  

"IBM has had a long standing commitment to innovation and the sharing of our patented inventions within the industry, especially high-growth technology companies like Instacart that are establishing innovative solutions for critically needed food delivery during these challenging times," William LaFontaine, IBM's GM of Intellectual Property, said in a statement. "We look forward to a long term innovation partnership with Instacart."

In addition to licensing its patents, IBM has protected its IP, going after alleged patent thiefs in court. In 2018, IBM was awarded $83 million in a patent dispute with Groupon

Instacart, for its part, said the new deal "provides us with stronger intellectual property protection and gives us even more freedom to innovate."

Since the start of the pandemic, business has surged for the grocery delivery app, and it reportedly plans on going public this year.