List of prolific inventors

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Thomas Edison was widely known as the world's most prolific inventor.[1][2] He held a total of 1,093 U.S. patents (1,084 utility patents and 9 design patents).[3] In 2003, he was passed by Japanese inventor Shunpei Yamazaki.[4] On February 26, 2008, Yamazaki was passed by Australian inventor Kia Silverbrook.[5]

Prolific inventors with 200 or more worldwide utility patent families are shown in the following table. In many cases, this number is also the number of U.S. utility patents granted. A patent family is a set of patents filed in various countries to protect a single invention.

Inventor # of Patent Families Country # of INPADOC patents Active Main fields of invention Ref
Kia Silverbrook 4731  Australia 9844 1994-2016 Printing, Digital paper, Internet, Electronics, CGI, Chemical, DNA, Lab-on-a-chip, MEMS, Mechanical, VLSI [6][7][4][5][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16]
Shunpei Yamazaki 4309  Japan 15109 1976-2016 Thin film transistors, Liquid crystal displays, Solar cells, Flash memory, OLED [17][18][4][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][19]
Paul Lapstun 1278  Australia 3092 2000-2015 Printing, Digital paper, Internet, Electronics, CGI, VLSI [20][21][4][10][11][12][13][14][15]
Lowell L. Wood, Jr. 1231  USA 1280 1977-2016 Mosquito laser, Nuclear weapons [22][23][16]
Gurtej Sandhu 1205  India 1987 1991-2016 Thin film processes and materials, VLSI, Semiconductor device fabrication [24][25][8][9][10][19]
Jun Koyama 1148  Japan 3674 1991-2016 Thin film transistors, Liquid crystal displays, OLED [26][27]
Leonard Forbes 1086  Canada 1393 1991-2016 Semiconductor Memories, CCDs, Thin film processes and materials, VLSI [28][29][4][9][10][11][13]
Thomas Edison 1084  USA 2332 1847(b)-1931(d) Electric power, Lighting, Batteries, Phonograph, Cement, Telegraphy, Mining [2][3][4][5][30][31]
Roderick A. Hyde 1023  USA 3085 2001-2016 Various [32][33][16]
Donald E. Weder 999  USA 1992 1976-2015 Florist supplies [34][35][4][8][9][10][19]
George Albert Lyon 993  Canada NA 1882(b)-1961(d) Automotive, Stainless steel products [4][36]
John F. O'Connor 949  USA NA 1864(b)-1938(d) Railway draft gearing [4][37]
Melvin De Groote 925  USA NA 1895(b)-1963(d) Chemical de-emulsifiers [2][4]
Francis H. Richards 894  USA NA 1850(b)-19??(d) Mechanical, automation [2][4]
Jay S. Walker 893  USA 2188 1979-2016 Gaming machines [38][39][10][15]
Edward K. Y. Jung 848  USA 2183 1996-2016 Various [40][41][16]
Ahmadreza Rofougaran 782  USA 1389 2002-2016 Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits [42][43]
Warren Farnworth 769  USA 931 1990-2015 Semiconductor packaging [44][45][8][9][10]
Carleton Ellis 753  USA NA 1876(b)-1941(d) Margarine, Polyester, Anti-knock gasoline, Paint stripper [37][46]
Clarence T. Tegreene 750  USA 2100 2000-2016 Various [47][48]
Hideo Ando 726  Japan 2515 1983-2015 Optical recording [49][50][15]
Michael J. Sullivan 723  USA 1494 1977-2016 Golf balls [51][52]
George Spector 722  USA 747 1976-1998 Gadgets, Toys [53][54][8][9]
Salman Akram 719  USA 897 1995-2016 Semiconductor packaging [55][56][8][9][10]
Shou-Shan Fan 718  China 2011 2006-2016 Carbon nanotubes and applications of carbon nanotubes [57][58]
William H. Eby 712  USA 740 1994-2015 Transgenic soybeans [59][60]
Rick Allen Hamilton II 705  USA 1024 1999-2016 Various [61][62][16]
Elihu Thomson 696  UK NA 1853(b)-1937(d) Electric power, Arc lamp, Electric motors, Lightning arrester, Arc welder [2][37]
Austin L. Gurney 685  USA 3918 1999-2016 Proteins, Antibodies [63][64][11][12]
Tetsujiro Kondo 684  Japan 4134 1987-2015 Signal processing, Image processing [65][66]
Jeyhan Karaoguz 663  USA 1501 1996-2016 Wireless communications, Computer networks [67][68]
William I. Wood 653  USA 3628 1981-2013 Proteins, Antibodies [69][70][11][12]
Simon R. Walmsley 651  Australia 1245 1995-2015 Printing, Electronics, VLSI, Cryptography [71][72][14][15]
Kangguo Cheng 626  USA 1145 2004-2016 Semiconductor device fabrication, Semiconductor memory, Semiconductor device [73][74][75]
Audrey D. Goddard 622  USA 3488 1997-2014 Proteins, Antibodies [76][77][11][12]
Jerome Lemelson 606  USA NA 1923(b)-1997(d) Toys, Industrial robots, Cordless telephones, Fax machines, Videocassette recorders [78][2][19][79]
Béla Barényi 595  Austria 1244 1907(b)-1997(d) Passive safety in automobiles [80][81]
Kie Y Ahn 590  USA 709 1976-2016 Thin film processes and materials, VLSI, Semiconductor device fabrication [82][83]
Tadahiro Ohmi 589  Japan 2682 1981-2016 Thin film processes and materials, Semiconductor device fabrication [84][85]
Paul J. Godowski 579  USA 2684 1994-2014 Proteins, Antibodies [86][87][11][12]
Nathan Myhrvold 579  USA 1594 1994-2016 Various [88][89]
Mark Malamud 572  USA 1701 1997-2016 Various [90][91][16]
Royce A. Levien 571  USA 1753 1997-2016 Various [92][93][16]
Artur Fischer 570  Germany 3097 1976-2002 Fasteners, Construction toys [94][95][96]
Louis L. Hsu 548  USA 910 1988-2015 Various [97][98]
Robert W. Lord 544  USA 1654 2003-2016 Various [99][100]
Edward J. Nowak 541  USA 1122 1979-2016 Semiconductor device fabrication, Semiconductor memory, Semiconductor device [101][102]
Edwin H. Land 535  USA 1236 1909(b)-1991(d) Instant photography, Polarizing film [103][104]
Muriel Y. Ishikawa 533  USA 1582 2002-2016 Various [105][106][107]
Henri Dreyfus 524   Switzerland 2117 1882(b)-1944(d) Polymers, Synthetic fibers, Dyes [108][109]
Clyde C. Farmer 513  USA 830 18??(b)-19??(d) Railway air brakes [110][37][111]
Heinz Focke 512  Germany 2898 1976-2013 Cigarette packaging [112][113][8]
Mark I. Gardner 511  USA 587 1994-2010 Consumer electronics, Energy, Computers, Semiconductors, Physics [114][115][8][9]
Louis H. Morin 503  USA 720 18??(b)-19??(d) Fasteners, Locks, Bobbins [116][111]
Ravi K. Arimilli 501  India 767 1992-2015 Computer architecture, Semiconductor memory, Cache coherence, Symmetric multiprocessing [117][118]
Tobin A. King 497  Australia 1214 2000-2015 Printing, Digital paper, Mechanical [119][120]
Jack A. Mandelman 481  USA 889 1987-2014 Various [121][122]
Jordin T. Kare 464  USA 1393 1992-2016 Various [123][124]
James M. Hart 452  USA 1131 1988-2016 Motor vehicle transmission [125][126]
Eberhard Ammermann 451  Germany 5177 1979-2015 Fungicides [127][128][19]
Jeffrey P. Gambino 450  USA 786 1992-2016 MEMS, CMOS, BiCMOS, DRAM, Image Sensors, RF, Biosensors, 3D Integrated Circuits [129][130]
Thomas E. Murray 449  USA 462 1860(b)-1929(d) Electrical, HVAC, Wheels, Metal working, Light dimmer [131][132]
Eric C. Leuthardt 447  USA 1230 2006-2016 Medical devices [133][134]
Akira Nakazawa 442  Australia 1300 1980-2015 Printing, Mechanical [135][136]
Hongyong Zhang 438  Japan 815 1993-2014 Thin film transistors, Liquid crystal displays [137][138]
Scott H. Wittkopp 427  USA 1008 2001-2015 Motor vehicle transmission [139][140][15]
John M. Santosuosso 423  USA 666 2001-2016 Various [141][142]
John Hays Hammond, Jr. 417  USA 460 1888(b)-1965(d) Radio control, Radio communications, Torpedoes [143][144]
Bruce B. Doris 416  USA 795 1995-2016 Integrated Circuits, CMOS, DRAM, Semiconductor device fabrication [145][146]
Wilhelm Brandes 411  Germany 2933 1976-2010 Fungicides [147][148]
Stanford R. Ovshinsky 400  USA 1649 1922(b)-2012(d) Batteries, Solar cells, Liquid crystal displays, Hydrogen fuel cells, Computer data storage [149][150][151]
Ronald S. Cok 394  USA 727 1986-2016 OLED displays; image processing [152][153]
Robert S. Langer 390  USA 1677 1983-2016 Biotechnology, Drug delivery, Tissue engineering [154][155]
Josef Theurer 387  Austria 5071 1976-2016 Railroad maintenance machines [156][157][19]
Anthony K. Stamper 378  USA 697 1998-2016 MEMS, CMOS, BiCMOS, Silicon-germanium [158][159]
Hans-Joachim Santel 377  Germany 2627 1986-2013 Herbicides, Pesticides, Organic chemistry [160][161][19]
Gisela Lorenz 374  Germany 4154 1990-2015 Fungicides, Organic chemistry [162][163][19]
George P. Liang 373  China 502 1983-2016 Gas turbine cooling [164][165]
David V. Horak 367  USA 608 1992-2016 Various [166][167]
Garry R. Jackson 366  Australia 656 2001-2015 Printing, Mechanical [168][169]
Cary L. Bates 365  USA 556 1994-2015 Programming tools, DBX, Memory debuggers [170][171][172]
Paul W. Dent 362  USA 2247 1984-2015 Wireless communications [173][174]
George Westinghouse 361  USA NA 1846(b)-1914(d) Electric power, Electricity meter, Railway air brake, Steam engines [175][176][177]
Kai-Li Jiang 358  China 766 2006-2016 Carbon nanotubes and applications of carbon nanotubes [178][179]
Robert R. Schmidt 350  Germany 2467 1971-2005 Herbicides, Fungicides, Organic chemistry [180][181]
Norman M. Berry 345  Australia 513 2006-2015 Printing, Mechanical [182][183]
Victoria Y. H. Wood 343  USA 961 2009-2016 Various [184][185]
Mark W. Kroll 338  USA 457 1987-2015 Implantable medical devices [186][187][188]
Vincent J. Zimmer 333  USA 929 1999-2016 Computer software and firmware [189][190]
Chih-Chao Yang 323  USA 655 1994-2016 Integrated Circuits [191][192]
Wael W. Diab 317  USA 756 2003-2016 Computer networks [193][194]
Ali Khakifirooz 317  USA 602 2011-2016 Integrated Circuits, CMOS, Semiconductor device fabrication [195][196]
William Daniel Hillis 313  USA 230 1994-2015 Various [197][198]
Jeffrey E. Stahmann 309  USA 609 1986-2015 Artificial cardiac pacemakers [199][200]
Brent A. Anderson 307  USA 438 2005-2016 Semiconductor device fabrication, Semiconductor memory, Semiconductor device [201][202]
Victoria Smith 304  USA 2084 2003-2015 Proteins, Antibodies [203][204]
Carl J. Radens 303  USA 623 2005-2016 Integrated Circuits, CMOS, DRAM, Semiconductor device fabrication [205][206]
Liang Liu 303  China 773 1995-2016 Carbon nanotubes and applications of carbon nanotubes [207][208]
Steven L. Teig 298  USA 364 2001-2015 Integrated Circuits [209][210]
Brian M. O'Connell 298  USA 564 1982-2016 Various [211][212]
William R. Tonti 290  USA 441 1994-2015 Integrated Circuits, CMOS, DRAM, Semiconductor device fabrication [213][214]
Devendra K. Sadana 286  India 734 1983-2016 Solar cells, OLED, Integrated Circuits, CMOS, DRAM, LEDs [215][216]
Gregory J. Boss 281  USA 544 1982-2016 Various [217][218]
Hartley Owen 267  USA 751 1976-2010 Fluid catalytic cracking [219][220]
Adam Heller 262  Romania 692 1968-2016 Solar cells, Glucose meters, Lasers [221][222][223]
Keith R. Walker 260  Saudi Arabia 310 2008-2016 Various [224][225]
Victor S. Moore 259  USA 424 1979-2016 Various [226][227]
Clifford A. Pickover 259  USA 607 1982-2016 Various [228][229]
Yoshihiro Kikuchi 255  Japan 972 1995-2015 Video processing [230][231]
Daniel J. Winarski 254  USA 484 2003-2016 Various [232][233]
Nobuyuki Taniguchi 245  Japan 967 2009-2015 Cameras [234][235]
Philip S. Yu 235  USA 158 1992-2016 Various [236][237]
Rajiv V. Joshi 225  USA 345 1986-2016 Electronics, analytics [238][239]
Kulvir S. Bhogal 225  USA 470 2003-2016 Various [240][241]
Takeshi Chujoh 224  Japan 1047 1995-2016 Video processing [242][243]
Johnny M. Shieh 219  USA 436 1996-2015 Various [244][245]
Lisa Seacat DeLuca 214  USA 351 2009-2016 Various [246][247]
Bengt Lindoff 210  Sweden 1441 2000-2016 Wireless communications [248][249]
Dean L. Kamen 209  USA 1095 1979-2015 Battery-powered electric vehicles, Medical devices, Stirling engines, Water purification, Wheelchairs [250][251]
Patrick B. Usoro 205  USA 382 1999-2015 Transmissions, Hybrid Powertrains, Vehicle Thermal Management [252][253]
Hiroshi (You) Yoshioka 205  Japan 152 1997-2015 Cameras [254][255]
Gerald F. McBrearty 203  USA 382 1997-2015 Various [256][257]
Thomas J. Kennedy 200  USA 494 1987-2016 Sporting Goods, Biotechnology, Wind Turbines [258][259]

This table was current as of January 26, 2016. The columns are defined as follows:

  • Inventor: The name of the inventor.
  • # of Patent Families: This is the number of families of utility patents that have been issued. In many cases above, it is also the number of issued U.S. utility patents. There is a direct correspondence between the number of patent families and the number of unique patented inventions. Conversely, the total number of worldwide patents does not correspond closely to the number of inventions, as each separate invention must be filed as a separate patent in each country for which patent protection is sought. Only utility patents (or the international equivalent) are listed, as a utility patent is a patent for an invention. Not all patents are for inventions. Other patent types are: design patents for the ornamental design of an object; plant patents for plant varieties; and reissue patents, where a correction is made to an already granted patent. This list does not include patent applications (patents pending) as there is no guarantee that a patent application actually describes a novel invention until the patent is granted.
  • # of INPADOC patents: This is the worldwide number of patents of all types (utility, design, plant, etc.) This includes patent applications, and duplication of the same patent in multiple countries, so is usually an overestimate of the total number of inventions. This data is primarily from INPADOC, an international patent collection produced and maintained by the European Patent Office (EPO). For some inventors active before computer records were available, the total number of patents is not available (NA).
  • Country: This is the country of birth or upbringing of the inventor, where known. If unknown, this is the country of residence identified in the inventor's patent filings.
  • Active: The first and last year in which an inventor received a patent issuance, except when activity was prior to digital records, in which case year of birth (b) and death (d) may be substituted. If an inventor's first year is 1976 or a few years after, there may be activity prior to this; earlier dates are not present in the primary source, and would require a secondary source.
  • Main fields of invention: These are the main areas that the inventor is or was active in.

Threshold for inclusion[edit]

As the average number of patents per inventor is around 3, some sources define prolific inventors as five times above the average (in terms of patents), leading to a threshold of 15 patents.[260] However, this table currently has an arbitrary cut-off limit for inclusion of 200 patent families. This is purely for practical reasons – there are 121 inventors throughout history with more than 200 utility patent families, but tens of thousands of inventors with more than 15 patents. The threshold of 200 patents means that some famous prolific inventors such as Nikola Tesla are not included in this list, as Tesla had 111 patents.[261][262]

Significance of inventions[edit]

This table is a ranking of the most prolific inventors, not necessarily the most significant inventors. The significance of inventions is often not apparent until many decades after the invention has been made. For recent inventors, it is not yet possible to determine their place in history.

The common symbol for inventiveness, the light bulb, is a perfect example. The first incandescent light bulb was invented by British chemist Sir Humphry Davy in 1802. Many subsequent inventors improved Davy's invention prior to the successful commercialization of electric lighting by Thomas Edison in 1880, 78 years later. Electric lighting continued to be developed. Edison's carbon filament light bulb was made obsolete by the tungsten filament light bulb, invented in 1904 by Sándor Just and Franjo Hanaman. It is this that forms the popular conception of a light bulb, though there are other major forms of lighting. The principle of fluorescent lights was known since 1845, and various inventors, including Edison and Nikola Tesla worked on them without commercial success. Various improvements were made by many other inventors, until General Electric introduced "fluorescent lumiline lamps" commercially in 1938, first available to the public at the 1939 World's Fair. LED lamps also have a long history, with the first light-emitting diode (LED) invented in 1927 by Oleg Losev. LEDs were initially of low brightness, and have been used as indicator lamps and seven-segment displays since 1968. It wasn't until the development of high efficiency blue LEDs by Shuji Nakamura in the 1980s that white LEDs for lighting applications became practical. Although higher cost than incandescent light bulbs, LEDs have higher efficiency and longer life and may finally displace light bulbs in general lighting applications. In each case, more than 50 years passed between the initial invention and commercial success in general lighting applications.

Various published lists[edit]

Rankings of prolific inventors have been published at various times. However, until the patent records were digitized, these lists were very tedious to prepare, as many thousands of patent records had to be checked manually. Even after digitization, it is still not a simple process. While the USPTO keeps statistics for annual rankings of inventions assigned to companies, it no longer publishes rankings of individual inventors. The last such list was published by the USPTO in 1998.[19] Also, patents predating 1976 have not yet been digitized in the USPTO records. This means that patents before 1976 will not be included in a USPTO search by inventor name, and the number of patents granted before 1976 must be added to current searches.

Popular Science (1936)[edit]

In January 1936, Popular Science published a list of the "most prolific living inventors to be found in America today".[37]

Rank Inventor U.S. Patents
1 John F. O'Connor 949
2 Elihu Thomson 696
3 Carleton Ellis 648
4 Henry A. Wise Wood 434
5 John Hays Hammond Jr. 360
6 Clyde C. Farmer 344
7 Ethan I. Dodds 321
8 Edward Weston 309

Thomas Edison was not included in the list, as he died in 1931, five years earlier.

Time Magazine (2000)[edit]

On December 4, 2000, Time Magazine published a list of the "top five inventors".[2]

Rank Inventor U.S. Patents
1 Thomas Edison 1,093
2 Melvin De Groote 925
3 Francis H. Richards 894
4 Elihu Thomson 696
5 Jerome Lemelson 554

This list only included U.S. inventors, so omitted Canadian inventor George Albert Lyon, with 993 U.S. patents at the time of publication, Japanese inventor Shunpei Yamazaki, with 745 U.S. patents, and Béla Barényi, with 595 German patents. Also omitted were John F. O'Connor with 949 U.S. patents, and Carleton Ellis, with 753 U.S. patents at the time of publication.

USA Today (2005)[edit]

On December 13, 2005 USA Today published a list of "the top 10 living U.S. patent holders":[8]

Rank Inventor U.S. Patents
1 Shunpei Yamazaki 1,432
2 Donald Weder 1,322
3 Kia Silverbrook 810
4 George Spector 723
5 Gurtej Sandhu 576
6 Warren Farnworth 547
7 Salman Akram 527
8 Mark Gardner 512
9 Heinz Focke 508
10 Joseph Straeter 477

This research was performed by ipIQ of Chicago (now "The Patent Board"[263]) and 1790 Analytics[264] of New Jersey. This list only considered living inventors, and thus did not include such prolific inventors as Thomas Edison, Melvin De Groote, and Elihu Thomson. This list included design patents, which are not patents for inventions.

Condé Nast Portfolio (2007)[edit]

On October 15, 2007 Condé Nast Portfolio Magazine published a list[9] of "the world's most prolific inventors alive":

Rank Inventor U.S. Patents
1 Shunpei Yamazaki 1,811
2 Kia Silverbrook 1,646
3 Donald Weder 1,350
4 George Spector 722
5 Gurtej Sandhu 674
6 Leonard Forbes 671
7 Warren Farnworth 635
8 Salman Akram 612
9 Mark Gardner 515
10 Joseph Straeter 485

This research was performed by The Patent Board,[263] a Chicago patent research and advisory firm. As with the USA Today list, the Portfolio list only considered living inventors, and thus did not include such prolific inventors as Thomas Edison. This list also included design patents, which are not patents for inventions.

Business Insider (2011)[edit]

On 6 May 2011 Business Insider published an article titled: "The Ten Greatest Inventors In The Modern Era"[4] containing the following list:

Rank Inventor U.S. Patents
1 Kia Silverbrook 3,847
2 Shunpei Yamazaki 2,061
3 Thomas Edison 1,084
4 George Albert Lyon 993
5 Paul Lapstun 969
6 Donald Weder 951
7 John F. O'Connor 949
8 Leonard Forbes 948
9 Melvin De Groote 925
10 Francis H. Richards 894

This list included living and dead inventors, and only included granted utility patents (patents for inventions).

Strutpatent.com (2012)[edit]

Strutpatent.com publishes a list of the "Top 10 Inventors" [10] listing inventors ranked by US patents (of all types) issued since 1990:

Rank Inventor U.S. Patents
1 Kia Silverbrook 4,279
2 Shunpei Yamazaki 1,664
3 Donald Weder 1,310
4 Paul Lapstun 1,098
5 Leonard Forbes 959
6 Gurtej Sandhu 728
7 Warren Farnworth 685
8 Salman Akram 653
9 Jay Walker 644
10 Chang-Hwan Hwang 634

This list included only patents granted since 1990, and includes design patents as well as utility patents.

Annual lists (2007–2012)[edit]

Strutpatent.com publishes weekly, monthly, and annual lists of the top ten categories, inventors and assignees of US patents since 2007. These lists include all patent types, not just patents for inventions (utility patents).

The top ten inventors of US patents for 2007:[11]

Rank Inventor U.S. Patents
1 Kia Silverbrook 502
2 Audrey Goddard 232
3 William I. Wood 232
4 Austin L. Gurney 225
5 Chang-Hwan Hwang 203
6 Paul J. Godowski 193
7 Shunpei Yamazaki 139
8 Paul Lapstun 129
9 Leonard Forbes 120
10 Victoria Smith 112

The top ten inventors of US patents for 2008:[12]

Rank Inventor U.S. Patents
1 Kia Silverbrook 576
2 Chang-Hwan Hwang 198
3 Audrey Goddard 168
4 Austin L. Gurney 167
5 William I. Wood 166
6 Paul J. Godowski 153
7 Shunpei Yamazaki 143
8 Paul Lapstun 137
9 Chang-Soo Lee 129
10 Victoria Smith 122

The top ten inventors of US patents for 2009:[13]

Rank Inventor U.S. Patents
1 Kia Silverbrook 444
2 Shunpei Yamazaki 137
3 Paul Lapstun 113
4 Bartley K. Andre 92
5 Daniele De Iuliis 92
6 Jonathan Ive 92
7 Matthew Rohrbach 92
8 Richard P. Howarth 91
9 Duncan Robert Kerr 91
10 Leonard Forbes 91

The top ten inventors of US patents for 2010:[14]

Rank Inventor U.S. Patents
1 Kia Silverbrook 709
2 Paul Lapstun 191
3 Shunpei Yamazaki 162
4 Simon Walmsley 115
5 Bartley K. Andre 114
6 Matthew Rohrbach 109
7 Richard P. Howarth 108
8 Jonathan Ive 108
9 Duncan Robert Kerr 108
10 Daniel J. Coster 106

The top ten inventors of US patents for 2011:[15]

Rank Inventor U.S. Patents
1 Kia Silverbrook 754
2 Paul Lapstun 268
3 Shunpei Yamazaki 163
4 Hideo Ando 162
5 You Yoshioka 153
6 Scott H. Wittkopp 126
7 James M. Hart 125
8 Edward Jung 112
9 Simon Walmsley 112
10 Jay S. Walker 99

The top ten inventors of US patents for 2012:[16]

Rank Inventor U.S. Patents
1 Kia Silverbrook 220
2 Edward Jung 180
3 Shunpei Yamazaki 172
4 Lowell Wood 169
5 Roderick Hyde 140
6 Bin Li 124
7 Royce Levien 122
8 Mark Malamud 119
9 Shunpei Yamazaki 118
10 John Rinaldo 117

This table omitted Rick Allen Hamilton II. The USPTO database shows Hamilton was an inventor or co-inventor of 128 US patents granted in 2012,[265] which would place Hamilton at 6th rank for 2012.

Differences between lists[edit]

Differences in patent numbers between the various lists are due to several reasons:

  • The lists were created on different dates. As many of the inventors in the lists are still active, the number of patents they hold are increasing.
  • While the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the primary source for U.S. patent information, only patents issued since 1976 can be electronically searched by the inventor's name at the USPTO website.[266] For some of the listed inventors, such as Thomas Edison, all of their patents predate 1976, so other sources must be used.
  • Often entities list the worldwide total number of patents that they hold. This is not the same as the number of inventions, as a patent in one country may be for the same invention as a patent in another country. The set of patents covering a single invention in different countries is a Patent family.
  • The Time, USA Today and Portfolio lists show the total number of U.S. patents, including patents for designs (Design patents) as well as patents for inventions (Utility patents).
  • The annual lists from strutpatent.com list only those patents issued in the particular year to the inventor, not all of the inventor's patents.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Thomas Alva Edison Biography at Rutgers University
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Man-Made Marvels Time Magazine, Dec 4, 2000
  3. ^ a b List of Edison patents
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l The Ten Greatest Inventors In The Modern Era Business Insider, 6 May 2011
  5. ^ a b c The True Inventor Basson-Booyens website
  6. ^ US Patents of Kia Silverbrook
  7. ^ Worldwide Patents of Kia Silverbrook
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j You really can find identities of top patent holders USA Today, Dec 13, 2005
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Masters of invention Portfolio, October 15, 2007
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Strutpatent list of the top 10 inventors since 1990
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i List of the top ten US patent grantees for 2007 StrutPatent.com website
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h List of the top ten US patent grantees for 2008 StrutPatent.com website
  13. ^ a b c d e List of the top ten US patent grantees for 2009 StrutPatent.com website
  14. ^ a b c d e List of the top ten US patent grantees for 2010 StrutPatent.com website
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h List of the top ten US patent grantees for 2011 StrutPatent.com website
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i List of the top ten US patent grantees for 2012 StrutPatent.com website
  17. ^ US Patents of Shunpei Yamazaki
  18. ^ Worldwide Patents of Shunpei Yamazaki
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i USPTO publication: Prolific Inventors Receiving Utility Patents 1988-1997
  20. ^ US Patents of Paul Lapstun
  21. ^ Worldwide Patents of Paul Lapstun
  22. ^ US Patents of Lowell L. Wood, Jr.
  23. ^ Worldwide Patents of Lowell L. Wood, Jr.
  24. ^ US Patents of Gurtej Sandhu
  25. ^ Worldwide Patents of Gurtej Sandhu
  26. ^ US Patents of Jun Koyama
  27. ^ Worldwide Patents of Jun Koyama
  28. ^ US Patents of Leonard Forbes
  29. ^ Worldwide Patents of Leonard Forbes
  30. ^ Edison's Foreign Patents
  31. ^ The Complete Thomas Alva Edison U.S. Patent Collection
  32. ^ US Patents of Roderick A. Hyde
  33. ^ Worldwide Patents of Roderick A. Hyde
  34. ^ US Patents of Donald E. Weder
  35. ^ Worldwide Patents of Donald E. Weder
  36. ^ Archived Boliven Patents by George Albert Lyon(s)
  37. ^ US Patents of Jay S. Walker
  38. ^ Worldwide Patents of Jay S. Walker
  39. ^ US Patents of Edward K. Y. Jung
  40. ^ Worldwide Patents of Edward K. Y. Jung
  41. ^ US Patents of Ahmadreza Rofougaran
  42. ^ Worldwide Patents of Ahmadreza Rofougaran
  43. ^ US Patents of Warren Farnworth
  44. ^ Worldwide Patents of Warren Farnworth
  45. ^ B. Zorina Khan, The Democratization of Invention: Patents and Copyrights in American Economic Development, 1790-1920 (Cambridge University Press, 2005) pp209-210
  46. ^ US Patents of Clarence T. Tegreene
  47. ^ Worldwide Patents of Clarence T. Tegreene
  48. ^ US Patents of Hideo Ando
  49. ^ Worldwide Patents of Hideo Ando
  50. ^ US Patents of Michael J. Sullivan
  51. ^ Worldwide Patents of Michael J. Sullivan
  52. ^ US Patents of George Spector
  53. ^ Worldwide Patents of George Spector
  54. ^ US Patents of Salman Akram
  55. ^ Worldwide Patents of Salman Akram
  56. ^ US Patents of Shou-Shan Fan
  57. ^ Worldwide Patents of Shou-Shan Fan
  58. ^ US Patents of William H. Eby
  59. ^ Worldwide Patents of William H. Eby
  60. ^ US Patents of Rick Allen Hamilton II
  61. ^ Worldwide Patents of Rick Allen Hamilton II
  62. ^ US Patents of Austin L. Gurney
  63. ^ Worldwide Patents of Austin L. Gurney
  64. ^ US Patents of Tetsujiro Kondo
  65. ^ Worldwide Patents of Tetsujiro Kondo
  66. ^ US Patents of Jeyhan Karaoguz
  67. ^ Worldwide Patents of Jeyhan Karaoguz
  68. ^ US Patents of William I. Wood
  69. ^ Worldwide Patents of William I. Wood
  70. ^ US Patents of Simon R. Walmsley
  71. ^ Worldwide Patents of Simon R. Walmsley
  72. ^ US Patents of Kangguo Cheng
  73. ^ Worldwide Patents of Kangguo Cheng
  74. ^ Bio of Kangguo Cheng
  75. ^ US Patents of Audrey D. Goddard
  76. ^ Worldwide Patents of Audrey D. Goddard
  77. ^ Worldwide Patents of Jerome Lemelson
  78. ^ The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation web site, Jerome Lemelson's Patents.
  79. ^ Worldwide Patents of Béla Barényi
  80. ^ German Patents of Béla Barényi
  81. ^ US Patents of Kie Y Ahn
  82. ^ Worldwide Patents of Kie Y Ahn
  83. ^ US Patents of Tadahiro Ohmi
  84. ^ Worldwide Patents of Tadahiro Ohmi
  85. ^ US Patents of Paul J. Godowski
  86. ^ Worldwide Patents of Paul J. Godowski
  87. ^ US Patents of Nathan Myhrvold
  88. ^ Worldwide Patents of Nathan Myhrvold
  89. ^ US Patents of Mark Malamud
  90. ^ Worldwide Patents of Mark Malamud
  91. ^ US Patents of Royce A. Levien
  92. ^ Worldwide Patents of Royce A. Levien
  93. ^ US Patents of Artur Fischer
  94. ^ Worldwide Patents of Artur Fischer
  95. ^ Reference to German patents of Artur Fischer
  96. ^ US Patents of Louis L. Hsu
  97. ^ Worldwide Patents of Louis L. Hsu
  98. ^ US Patents of Robert W. Lord
  99. ^ Worldwide Patents of Robert W. Lord
  100. ^ US Patents of Edward J. Nowak
  101. ^ Worldwide Patents of Edward J. Nowak
  102. ^ Worldwide Patents of Edwin H. Land
  103. ^ Victor K. McElheny, Insisting on the impossible: The Life of Edwin Land (Perseus Books, 1998)
  104. ^ US Patents of Muriel Y. Ishikawa
  105. ^ Worldwide Patents of Muriel Y. Ishikawa
  106. ^ Bio of Muriel Y. Ishikawa
  107. ^ Worldwide Patents of Henri Dreyfus
  108. ^ Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation
  109. ^ Worldwide Patents of Clyde C. Farmer
  110. ^ a b Archived Boliven.com website
  111. ^ US Patents of Heinz Focke
  112. ^ Worldwide Patents of Heinz Focke
  113. ^ US Patents of Mark I. Gardner
  114. ^ Worldwide Patents of Mark I. Gardner
  115. ^ Worldwide Patents of Louis H. Morin
  116. ^ US Patents of Ravi K. Arimilli
  117. ^ Worldwide Patents of Ravi K. Arimilli
  118. ^ US Patents of Tobin A. King
  119. ^ Worldwide Patents of Tobin A. King
  120. ^ US Patents of Jack A. Mandelman
  121. ^ Worldwide Patents of Jack A. Mandelman
  122. ^ US Patents of Jordin T. Kare
  123. ^ Worldwide Patents of Jordin T. Kare
  124. ^ US Patents of James M. Hart
  125. ^ Worldwide Patents of James M. Hart
  126. ^ US Patents of Eberhard Ammermann
  127. ^ Worldwide Patents of Eberhard Ammermann
  128. ^ US Patents of Jeffrey P. Gambino
  129. ^ Worldwide Patents of Jeffrey P. Gambino
  130. ^ Full patent listing for Thomas E. Murray
  131. ^ Thomas E. Murray web site
  132. ^ US Patents of Eric C. Leuthardt
  133. ^ Worldwide Patents of Eric C. Leuthardt
  134. ^ US Patents of Akira Nakazawa
  135. ^ Worldwide Patents of Akira Nakazawa
  136. ^ US Patents of Hongyong Zhang
  137. ^ Worldwide Patents of Hongyong Zhang
  138. ^ US Patents of Scott H. Wittkopp
  139. ^ Worldwide Patents of Scott H. Wittkopp
  140. ^ US Patents of John M. Santosuosso
  141. ^ Worldwide Patents of John M. Santosuosso
  142. ^ Worldwide Patents of John Hays Hammond, Jr.
  143. ^ The Infography of John Hays Hammond, Jr.
  144. ^ US Patents of Bruce B. Doris
  145. ^ Worldwide Patents of Bruce B. Doris
  146. ^ US Patents of Wilhelm Brandes
  147. ^ Worldwide Patents of Wilhelm Brandes
  148. ^ US Patents of Stanford R. Ovshinsky
  149. ^ Worldwide Patents of Stanford R. Ovshinsky
  150. ^ US Patents of Stanford Ovshinsky
  151. ^ US Patents of Ronald S. Cok
  152. ^ Worldwide Patents of Ronald S. Cok
  153. ^ US Patents of Robert S. Langer
  154. ^ Worldwide Patents of Robert S. Langer
  155. ^ US Patents of Josef Theurer
  156. ^ Worldwide Patents of Josef Theurer
  157. ^ US Patents of Anthony K. Stamper
  158. ^ Worldwide Patents of Anthony K. Stamper
  159. ^ US Patents of Hans-Joachim Santel
  160. ^ Worldwide Patents of Hans-Joachim Santel
  161. ^ US Patents of Gisela Lorenz
  162. ^ Worldwide Patents of Gisela Lorenz
  163. ^ US Patents of George P. Liang
  164. ^ Worldwide Patents of George P. Liang
  165. ^ US Patents of David V. Horak
  166. ^ Worldwide Patents of David V. Horak
  167. ^ US Patents of Garry R. Jackson
  168. ^ Worldwide Patents of Garry R. Jackson
  169. ^ US Patents of Cary L. Bates
  170. ^ Worldwide Patents of Cary L. Bates
  171. ^ Bio of Cary L. Bates
  172. ^ US Patents of Paul W. Dent
  173. ^ Worldwide Patents of Paul W. Dent
  174. ^ George Westinghouse article at ideafinder.com
  175. ^ Hubert, P. G. (1894). Men of achievement. Inventors. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Page 296+
  176. ^ George Westinghouse article in Encyclopaedia Britannica
  177. ^ US Patents of Kai-Li Jiang
  178. ^ Worldwide Patents of Kai-Li Jiang
  179. ^ US Patents of Robert R. Schmidt
  180. ^ Worldwide Patents of Robert R. Schmidt
  181. ^ US Patents of Norman M. Berry
  182. ^ Worldwide Patents of Norman M. Berry
  183. ^ US Patents of Victoria Y. H. Wood
  184. ^ Worldwide Patents of Victoria Y. H. Wood
  185. ^ US Patents of Mark W. Kroll
  186. ^ Worldwide Patents of Mark W. Kroll
  187. ^ Bio of Mark Kroll
  188. ^ US Patents of Vincent J. Zimmer
  189. ^ Worldwide Patents of Vincent J. Zimmer
  190. ^ US Patents of Chih-Chao Yang
  191. ^ Worldwide Patents of Chih-Chao Yang
  192. ^ US Patents of Wael W. Diab
  193. ^ Worldwide Patents of Wael W. Diab
  194. ^ US Patents of Ali Khakifirooz
  195. ^ Worldwide Patents of Ali Khakifirooz
  196. ^ US Patents of William Daniel Hillis
  197. ^ Worldwide Patents of William Daniel Hillis
  198. ^ US Patents of Jeffrey E. Stahmann
  199. ^ Worldwide Patents of Jeffrey E. Stahmann
  200. ^ US Patents of Brent A. Anderson
  201. ^ Worldwide Patents of Brent A. Anderson
  202. ^ US Patents of Victoria Smith
  203. ^ Worldwide Patents of Victoria Smith
  204. ^ US Patents of Carl J. Radens
  205. ^ Worldwide Patents of Carl J. Radens
  206. ^ US Patents of Liang Liu
  207. ^ Worldwide Patents of Liang Liu
  208. ^ US Patents of Steven L. Teig
  209. ^ Worldwide Patents of Steven L. Teig
  210. ^ US Patents of Brian M. O'Connell
  211. ^ Worldwide Patents of Brian M. O'Connell
  212. ^ US Patents of William R. Tonti
  213. ^ Worldwide Patents of William R. Tonti
  214. ^ US Patents of Devendra K. Sadana
  215. ^ Worldwide Patents of Devendra K. Sadana
  216. ^ US Patents of Gregory J. Boss
  217. ^ Worldwide Patents of Gregory J. Boss
  218. ^ US Patents of Hartley Owen
  219. ^ Worldwide Patents of Hartley Owen
  220. ^ US Patents of Adam Heller
  221. ^ Worldwide Patents of Adam Heller
  222. ^ The 12 US Patents of Adam Heller prior to 1976
  223. ^ US Patents of Keith R. Walker
  224. ^ Worldwide Patents of Keith R. Walker
  225. ^ US Patents of Victor S. Moore
  226. ^ Worldwide Patents of Victor S. Moore
  227. ^ US Patents of Clifford A. Pickover
  228. ^ Worldwide Patents of Clifford A. Pickover
  229. ^ US Patents of Yoshihiro Kikuchi
  230. ^ Worldwide Patents of Yoshihiro Kikuchi
  231. ^ US Patents of Daniel J. Winarski
  232. ^ Worldwide Patents of Daniel J. Winarski
  233. ^ US Patents of Nobuyuki Taniguchi
  234. ^ Worldwide Patents of Nobuyuki Taniguchi
  235. ^ US Patents of Philip S. Yu
  236. ^ Worldwide Patents of Philip S. Yu
  237. ^ US Patents of Rajiv V. Joshi
  238. ^ Worldwide Patents of Rajiv V. Joshi
  239. ^ US Patents of Kulvir S. Bhogal
  240. ^ Worldwide Patents of Kulvir S. Bhogal
  241. ^ US Patents of Takeshi Chujoh
  242. ^ Worldwide Patents of Takeshi Chujoh
  243. ^ US Patents of Johnny M. Shieh
  244. ^ Worldwide Patents of Johnny M. Shieh
  245. ^ US Patents of Lisa Seacat DeLuca
  246. ^ Worldwide Patents of Lisa Seacat DeLuca
  247. ^ US Patents of Bengt Lindoff
  248. ^ Worldwide Patents of Bengt Lindoff
  249. ^ US Patents of Dean L. Kamen
  250. ^ Worldwide Patents of Dean L. Kamen
  251. ^ US Patents of Patrick B. Usoro
  252. ^ Worldwide Patents of Patrick B. Usoro
  253. ^ US Patents of Hiroshi (You) Yoshioka
  254. ^ Worldwide Patents of Hiroshi (You) Yoshioka
  255. ^ US Patents of Gerald F. McBrearty
  256. ^ Worldwide Patents of Gerald F. McBrearty
  257. ^ "Patent Database Search Results: apt/1 and in/kennedy and (ic/wilbraham or ic/chicopee) in US Patent Collection". patft.uspto.gov. Retrieved 2016-02-02. 
  258. ^ "http://worldwide.espacenet.com/searchResults?submitted=true&locale=en_EP&DB=EPODOC&ST=advanced&TI=&AB=%22golf%22+OR+%22bioreactor%22+OR+%22wind+turbine%22+OR+%22acoustic%22&PN=&AP=&PR=&PD=&PA=&IN=Thomas+J+Kennedy&CPC=&IC=&Submit=Search".  External link in |title= (help)
  259. ^ Prolific Inventors: Who are They and Where do They Locate? International Centre for Economic Research Working Paper No. 14/2010
  260. ^ List of Nikola Tesla patents
  261. ^ Jim Bieberich's Complete Nikola Tesla U.S. Patent Collection
  262. ^ a b The Patent Board website
  263. ^ 1790 Analytics website
  264. ^ USPTO Utility Patent Search for Rick Allen Hamilton II for 2012
  265. ^ USPTO Patent Search website