According to Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Microsoft's patent portfolio ranked the strongest in software industry for the third straight year that Microsoft has topped IEEE Spectrum Patent Scorecard. According to report, Microsoft was way out in front of its competition, with 2,918 patents granted last year. The next closest competitor in software group was Oracle, which showed just 338 patents. In another independent survey, Microsoft ranked #1 in Patent Board Scorecard, far surpassing all other IT companies in the strength of our science and technology. Also Forbes named Microsoft on its list of America’s Most Inventive Companies. In Jan, Bloomberg BusinessWeek assessed Microsoft’s patent portfolio as having highest value, beating out other leaders including IBM and Samsung. The magazine also placed Microsoft at the top of its Most Inventive Companies list. "Microsoft invests more than $9 billion annually in research and development, and the innovations that result from that R&D commitment are directly related to the quality of our patents," wrote Bart Eppenauer.