Every Tuesday, thousands of patents are issued in the United States, with more than 250,000 issued in 2012. Patents recognize inventors and protect the originality of their ideas, so they can continue to create the innovations that power the world around us. From the technology you carry in your pocket to the type of flowers in your garden, they've all come from patents. For 20 years running, IBM has been awarded the most U.S. patents with 6,478 issued in 2013 alone. Check out some of their patents in the infographic above.