IBM has always hoarded patents like a dwarf and his gold. But this year, they're the first company to ever win more than 4,000 in a single year, more than Microsoft and Intel combined.
IBM picked up 4,186 U.S patents in 2008, while Microsoft won 2,030 and Intel earned a patriotic 1,776. The silver medal surprisingly went to Samsung, who earned 3,515. We would tell you to just give up if you're planning on inventing anything, since it's already been patented, and knowing the USPTO, they've awarded patents for broad, overly general and totally obvious ideas.