IBM researchers produced a record 3,621 patents, more than any other U.S. firm for the 14th consecutive year in 2006, the company said Thursday.

IBM topped its closet competitor by 1,170, according to data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. IBM also held the previous record for patents received in a year.

IBM also said Thursday that it would launch an “Investors’ Forum” in the second quarter of this year. The online site is designed to enable inventors and companies discuss patent systems and possible reforms.