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 4736  Australia 9838 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 4496  Japan 10000+ 1976-2016 Thin film transistors, Liquid crystal displays, Solar cells, Flash memory, OLED [17][4][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][18]
Lowell L. Wood, Jr. 1311  USA 1318 1977-2016 Mosquito laser, Nuclear weapons [19][20][16]
Paul Lapstun 1278  Australia 3095 2000-2015 Printing, Digital paper, Internet, Electronics, CGI, VLSI [21][22][4][10][11][12][13][14][15]
Gurtej Sandhu 1238  India 2026 1991-2016 Thin film processes and materials, VLSI, Semiconductor device fabrication [23][24][8][9][10][18]
Jun Koyama 1198  Japan 3939 1991-2016 Thin film transistors, Liquid crystal displays, OLED [25][26]
Roderick A. Hyde 1118  USA 3274 2001-2016 Various [27][28][16]
Leonard Forbes 1091  Canada 1395 1991-2016 Semiconductor Memories, CCDs, Thin film processes and materials, VLSI [29][30][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][31][32]
Donald E. Weder 999  USA 1992 1976-2015 Florist supplies [33][34][4][8][9][10][18]
George Albert Lyon 993  Canada NA 1882(b)-1961(d) Automotive, Stainless steel products [4][35]
John F. O'Connor 949  USA NA 1864(b)-1938(d) Railway draft gearing [4][36]
Melvin De Groote 925  USA NA 1895(b)-1963(d) Chemical de-emulsifiers [2][4]
Jay S. Walker 902  USA 2199 1998-2016 Gaming machines [37][38][10][15]
Francis H. Richards 894  USA NA 1850(b)-19??(d) Mechanical, automation [2][4]
Edward K. Y. Jung 876  USA 2236 1996-2016 Various [39][40][16]
Ahmadreza Rofougaran 799  USA 1393 2002-2016 Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits [41][42]
Clarence T. Tegreene 799  USA 2217 2000-2016 Various [43][44]
Warren Farnworth 770  USA 931 1990-2016 Semiconductor packaging [45][46][8][9][10]
Shou-Shan Fan 769  China 2086 2006-2016 Carbon nanotubes and applications of carbon nanotubes [47][48]
Michael J. Sullivan 756  USA 1534 1977-2016 Golf balls [49][50]
Kangguo Cheng 755  USA 1257 2004-2016 Semiconductor device fabrication, Semiconductor memory, Semiconductor device [51][52][53]
Carleton Ellis 753  USA NA 1876(b)-1941(d) Margarine, Polyester, Anti-knock gasoline, Paint stripper [36][54]
Rick Allen Hamilton II 746  USA 1053 1999-2016 Various [55][56][16]
Hideo Ando 727  Japan 2534 1983-2016 Optical recording [57][58][15]
William H. Eby 727  USA 754 1994-2016 Transgenic soybeans [59][60]
George Spector 722  USA 747 1976-1998 Gadgets, Toys [61][62][8][9]
Salman Akram 721  USA 909 1995-2016 Semiconductor packaging [63][64][8][9][10]
Jeyhan Karaoguz 704  USA 1527 1996-2016 Wireless communications, Computer networks [65][66]
Elihu Thomson 696  UK NA 1853(b)-1937(d) Electric power, Arc lamp, Electric motors, Lightning arrester, Arc welder [2][36]
Austin L. Gurney 690  USA 3883 1999-2016 Proteins, Antibodies [67][68][11][12]
Tetsujiro Kondo 684  Japan 4151 1987-2015 Signal processing, Image processing [69][70]
William I. Wood 653  USA 3552 1981-2016 Proteins, Antibodies [71][72][11][12]
Simon R. Walmsley 651  Australia 1249 1995-2015 Printing, Electronics, VLSI, Cryptography [73][74][14][15]
Audrey D. Goddard 622  USA 3407 1997-2014 Proteins, Antibodies [75][76][11][12]
Nathan Myhrvold 615  USA 1661 1994-2016 Various [77][78]
Jerome Lemelson 606  USA NA 1923(b)-1997(d) Toys, Industrial robots, Cordless telephones, Fax machines, Videocassette recorders [79][2][18][80]
Mark Malamud 601  USA 1740 1997-2016 Various [81][82][16]
Royce A. Levien 600  USA 1785 1997-2016 Various [83][84][16]
Béla Barényi 595  Austria 1244 1907(b)-1997(d) Passive safety in automobiles [85][86]
Kie Y Ahn 592  USA 709 1976-2016 Thin film processes and materials, VLSI, Semiconductor device fabrication [87][88]
Tadahiro Ohmi 589  Japan 2691 1981-2016 Thin film processes and materials, Semiconductor device fabrication [89][90]
Paul J. Godowski 579  USA 2603 1994-2014 Proteins, Antibodies [91][92][11][12]
Robert W. Lord 578  USA 1688 2003-2016 Various [93][94]
Muriel Y. Ishikawa 573  USA 1627 2002-2016 Various [95][96][97]
Artur Fischer 570  Germany 3097 1976-2002 Fasteners, Construction toys [98][99][100]
Edward J. Nowak 554  USA 1138 1979-2016 Semiconductor device fabrication, Semiconductor memory, Semiconductor device [101][102]
Louis L. Hsu 550  USA 914 1988-2016 Various [103][104]
Edwin H. Land 535  USA 1236 1909(b)-1991(d) Instant photography, Polarizing film [105][106]
Henri Dreyfus 524   Switzerland 2117 1882(b)-1944(d) Polymers, Synthetic fibers, Dyes [107][108]
Clyde C. Farmer 513  USA 830 18??(b)-19??(d) Railway air brakes [109][36][110]
Heinz Focke 512  Germany 2896 1976-2013 Cigarette packaging [111][112][8]
Mark I. Gardner 511  USA 587 1994-2010 Consumer electronics, Energy, Computers, Semiconductors, Physics [113][114][8][9]
Jordin T. Kare 508  USA 1514 1992-2016 Various [115][116]
Ravi K. Arimilli 504  India 767 1992-2016 Computer architecture, Semiconductor memory, Cache coherence, Symmetric multiprocessing [117][118]
Louis H. Morin 503  USA 720 18??(b)-19??(d) Fasteners, Locks, Bobbins [119][110]
Tobin A. King 497  Australia 1215 2000-2015 Printing, Digital paper, Mechanical [120][121]
Jack A. Mandelman 481  USA 889 1987-2014 Various [122][123]
Bruce B. Doris 478  USA 834 1995-2016 Integrated Circuits, CMOS, DRAM, Semiconductor device fabrication [124][125]
Jeffrey P. Gambino 466  USA 795 1992-2016 MEMS, CMOS, BiCMOS, DRAM, Image Sensors, RF, Biosensors, 3D Integrated Circuits [126][127]
Eric C. Leuthardt 465  USA 1259 2006-2016 Medical devices [128][129]
James M. Hart 461  USA 1137 1988-2016 Motor vehicle transmission [130][131]
Eberhard Ammermann 451  Germany 5180 1979-2015 Fungicides [132][133][18]
Thomas E. Murray 449  USA 462 1860(b)-1929(d) Electrical, HVAC, Wheels, Metal working, Light dimmer [134][135]
John M. Santosuosso 447  USA 672 2001-2016 Various [136][137]
Akira Nakazawa 445  Australia 1321 1980-2016 Printing, Mechanical [138][139]
Hongyong Zhang 439  Japan 840 1993-2016 Thin film transistors, Liquid crystal displays [140][141]
Scott H. Wittkopp 428  USA 1008 2001-2016 Motor vehicle transmission [142][143][15]
John Hays Hammond, Jr. 417  USA 460 1888(b)-1965(d) Radio control, Radio communications, Torpedoes [144][145]
Ali Khakifirooz 416  USA 687 2011-2016 Integrated Circuits, CMOS, Semiconductor device fabrication [146][147]
Wilhelm Brandes 411  Germany 2926 1976-2010 Fungicides [148][149]
Ronald S. Cok 406  USA 745 1986-2016 OLED displays; image processing [150][151]
Robert S. Langer 403  USA 1730 1983-2016 Biotechnology, Drug delivery, Tissue engineering [152][153]
Stanford R. Ovshinsky 400  USA 1649 1922(b)-2012(d) Batteries, Solar cells, Liquid crystal displays, Hydrogen fuel cells, Computer data storage [154][155][156]
Anthony K. Stamper 394  USA 717 1998-2016 MEMS, CMOS, BiCMOS, Silicon-germanium [157][158]
Josef Theurer 387  Austria 5078 1976-2016 Railroad maintenance machines [159][160][18]
Hans-Joachim Santel 377  Germany 2624 1986-2013 Herbicides, Pesticides, Organic chemistry [161][162][18]
David V. Horak 377  USA 611 1992-2016 Various [163][164]
Gisela Lorenz 374  Germany 4157 1990-2015 Fungicides, Organic chemistry [165][166][18]
George P. Liang 374  China 506 1983-2016 Gas turbine cooling [167][168]
Cary L. Bates 371  USA 561 1994-2016 Programming tools, DBX, Memory debuggers [169][170][171]
Victoria Y. H. Wood 370  USA 1014 2009-2016 Various [172][173]
Garry R. Jackson 367  Australia 656 2001-2016 Printing, Mechanical [174][175]
Kai-Li Jiang 367  China 794 2006-2016 Carbon nanotubes and applications of carbon nanotubes [176][177]
Paul W. Dent 362  USA 2250 1984-2015 Wireless communications [178][179]
George Westinghouse 361  USA NA 1846(b)-1914(d) Electric power, Electricity meter, Railway air brake, Steam engines [180][181][182]
Robert R. Schmidt 350  Germany 2467 1971-2005 Herbicides, Fungicides, Organic chemistry [183][184]
Norman M. Berry 347  Australia 515 2006-2016 Printing, Mechanical [185][186]
Vincent J. Zimmer 342  USA 943 1999-2016 Computer software and firmware [187][188]
Mark W. Kroll 340  USA 458 1987-2016 Implantable medical devices [189][190][191]
Wael W. Diab 339  USA 766 2003-2016 Computer networks [192][193]
Chih-Chao Yang 335  USA 680 2003-2016 Integrated Circuits [194][195]
William Daniel Hillis 320  USA 230 1986-2016 Various [196][197]
Brian M. O'Connell 318  USA 588 2009-2016 Various [198][199]
Devendra K. Sadana 318  India 772 1983-2016 Solar cells, OLED, Integrated Circuits, CMOS, DRAM, LEDs [200][201]
Jeffrey E. Stahmann 315  USA 632 1994-2016 Artificial cardiac pacemakers [202][203]
Brent A. Anderson 315  USA 448 2001-2016 Semiconductor device fabrication, Semiconductor memory, Semiconductor device [204][205]
Gregory J. Boss 315  USA 574 2008-2016 Various [206][207]
Carl J. Radens 308  USA 632 1994-2016 Integrated Circuits, CMOS, DRAM, Semiconductor device fabrication [208][209]
Liang Liu 307  China 777 2005-2016 Carbon nanotubes and applications of carbon nanotubes [210][211]
Victoria Smith 305  USA 2031 2006-2016 Proteins, Antibodies [212][213]
Steven L. Teig 300  USA 366 1995-2016 Integrated Circuits [214][215]
William R. Tonti 291  USA 441 1994-2016 Integrated Circuits, CMOS, DRAM, Semiconductor device fabrication [216][217]
Clifford A. Pickover 290  USA 630 1992-2016 Various [218][219]
Keith R. Walker 276  Saudi Arabia 317 2003-2016 Various [220][221]
Adam Heller 270  Romania 704 1968-2016 Solar cells, Glucose meters, Lasers [222][223][224]
Victor S. Moore 270  USA 426 1982-2016 Various [225][226]
Brent Keeth 268  USA 466 1994-2016 Integrated Circuits, CMOS, DRAM [227][228]
Hartley Owen 267  USA 751 1976-2010 Fluid catalytic cracking [229][230]
Daniel J. Winarski 263  USA 493 1982-2016 Various [231][232]
Yoshihiro Kikuchi 255  Japan 1007 1994-2015 Video processing [233][234]
Michael A. Rothman 248  USA 671 2001-2016 Computer software and firmware [235][236]
Nobuyuki Taniguchi 245  Japan 967 1979-2015 Cameras [237][238]
Kulvir S. Bhogal 241  USA 479 2003-2016 Various [239][240]
Lisa Seacat DeLuca 238  USA 375 2009-2016 Various [241][242]
Philip S. Yu 236  USA 158 1982-2016 Various [243][244]
Rajiv V. Joshi 229  USA 352 1986-2016 Electronics, analytics [245][246]
Takeshi Chujoh 226  Japan 1062 1995-2016 Video processing [247][248]
Johnny M. Shieh 224  USA 439 1996-2016 Various [249][250]
Dean L. Kamen 219  USA 1153 1979-2016 Battery-powered electric vehicles, Medical devices, Stirling engines, Water purification, Wheelchairs [251][252]
Bengt Lindoff 219  Sweden 1501 2000-2016 Wireless communications [253][254]
Gerald F. McBrearty 207  USA 386 1997-2016 Various [255][256]
Hiroshi (You) Yoshioka 205  Japan 179 1997-2015 Cameras [257][258]
Patrick B. Usoro 205  USA 343 1999-2016 Transmissions, Hybrid Powertrains, Vehicle Thermal Management [259][260]
Thomas J. Kennedy III 201  USA 501 1992-2016 Sporting Goods, Wind Turbines [261][262]

This table was current as of July 2, 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). The database limits results to 10,000 records per inventor, and so "10,000+" is used when an inventor exceeds the limit.
  • 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.[263] However, this table currently has an arbitrary cut-off limit for inclusion of 200 patent families. This is purely for practical reasons – there are 125 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.[264][265]

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.[18] 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".[36]

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"[266]) and 1790 Analytics[267] 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,[266] 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,[268] 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.[269] 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. ^ a b c d e f g h i USPTO publication: Prolific Inventors Receiving Utility Patents 1988-1997
  19. ^ US Patents of Lowell L. Wood, Jr.
  20. ^ Worldwide Patents of Lowell L. Wood, Jr.
  21. ^ US Patents of Paul Lapstun
  22. ^ Worldwide Patents of Paul Lapstun
  23. ^ US Patents of Gurtej Sandhu
  24. ^ Worldwide Patents of Gurtej Sandhu
  25. ^ US Patents of Jun Koyama
  26. ^ Worldwide Patents of Jun Koyama
  27. ^ US Patents of Roderick A. Hyde
  28. ^ Worldwide Patents of Roderick A. Hyde
  29. ^ US Patents of Leonard Forbes
  30. ^ Worldwide Patents of Leonard Forbes
  31. ^ Edison's Foreign Patents
  32. ^ The Complete Thomas Alva Edison U.S. Patent Collection
  33. ^ US Patents of Donald E. Weder
  34. ^ Worldwide Patents of Donald E. Weder
  35. ^ Archived Boliven Patents by George Albert Lyon(s)
  36. ^ US Patents of Jay S. Walker
  37. ^ Worldwide Patents of Jay S. Walker
  38. ^ US Patents of Edward K. Y. Jung
  39. ^ Worldwide Patents of Edward K. Y. Jung
  40. ^ US Patents of Ahmadreza Rofougaran
  41. ^ Worldwide Patents of Ahmadreza Rofougaran
  42. ^ US Patents of Clarence T. Tegreene
  43. ^ Worldwide Patents of Clarence T. Tegreene
  44. ^ US Patents of Warren Farnworth
  45. ^ Worldwide Patents of Warren Farnworth
  46. ^ US Patents of Shou-Shan Fan
  47. ^ Worldwide Patents of Shou-Shan Fan
  48. ^ US Patents of Michael J. Sullivan
  49. ^ Worldwide Patents of Michael J. Sullivan
  50. ^ US Patents of Kangguo Cheng
  51. ^ Worldwide Patents of Kangguo Cheng
  52. ^ Bio of Kangguo Cheng
  53. ^ B. Zorina Khan, The Democratization of Invention: Patents and Copyrights in American Economic Development, 1790-1920 (Cambridge University Press, 2005) pp209-210
  54. ^ US Patents of Rick Allen Hamilton II
  55. ^ Worldwide Patents of Rick Allen Hamilton II
  56. ^ US Patents of Hideo Ando
  57. ^ Worldwide Patents of Hideo Ando
  58. ^ US Patents of William H. Eby
  59. ^ Worldwide Patents of William H. Eby
  60. ^ US Patents of George Spector
  61. ^ Worldwide Patents of George Spector
  62. ^ US Patents of Salman Akram
  63. ^ Worldwide Patents of Salman Akram
  64. ^ US Patents of Jeyhan Karaoguz
  65. ^ Worldwide Patents of Jeyhan Karaoguz
  66. ^ US Patents of Austin L. Gurney
  67. ^ Worldwide Patents of Austin L. Gurney
  68. ^ US Patents of Tetsujiro Kondo
  69. ^ Worldwide Patents of Tetsujiro Kondo
  70. ^ US Patents of William I. Wood
  71. ^ Worldwide Patents of William I. Wood
  72. ^ US Patents of Simon R. Walmsley
  73. ^ Worldwide Patents of Simon R. Walmsley
  74. ^ US Patents of Audrey D. Goddard
  75. ^ Worldwide Patents of Audrey D. Goddard
  76. ^ US Patents of Nathan Myhrvold
  77. ^ Worldwide Patents of Nathan Myhrvold
  78. ^ Worldwide Patents of Jerome Lemelson
  79. ^ The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation web site, Jerome Lemelson's Patents.
  80. ^ US Patents of Mark Malamud
  81. ^ Worldwide Patents of Mark Malamud
  82. ^ US Patents of Royce A. Levien
  83. ^ Worldwide Patents of Royce A. Levien
  84. ^ Worldwide Patents of Béla Barényi
  85. ^ German Patents of Béla Barényi
  86. ^ US Patents of Kie Y Ahn
  87. ^ Worldwide Patents of Kie Y Ahn
  88. ^ US Patents of Tadahiro Ohmi
  89. ^ Worldwide Patents of Tadahiro Ohmi
  90. ^ US Patents of Paul J. Godowski
  91. ^ Worldwide Patents of Paul J. Godowski
  92. ^ US Patents of Robert W. Lord
  93. ^ Worldwide Patents of Robert W. Lord
  94. ^ US Patents of Muriel Y. Ishikawa
  95. ^ Worldwide Patents of Muriel Y. Ishikawa
  96. ^ Bio of Muriel Y. Ishikawa
  97. ^ US Patents of Artur Fischer
  98. ^ Worldwide Patents of Artur Fischer
  99. ^ Reference to German patents of Artur Fischer
  100. ^ US Patents of Edward J. Nowak
  101. ^ Worldwide Patents of Edward J. Nowak
  102. ^ US Patents of Louis L. Hsu
  103. ^ Worldwide Patents of Louis L. Hsu
  104. ^ Worldwide Patents of Edwin H. Land
  105. ^ Victor K. McElheny, Insisting on the impossible: The Life of Edwin Land (Perseus Books, 1998)
  106. ^ Worldwide Patents of Henri Dreyfus
  107. ^ Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation
  108. ^ Worldwide Patents of Clyde C. Farmer
  109. ^ a b Archived Boliven.com website
  110. ^ US Patents of Heinz Focke
  111. ^ Worldwide Patents of Heinz Focke
  112. ^ US Patents of Mark I. Gardner
  113. ^ Worldwide Patents of Mark I. Gardner
  114. ^ US Patents of Jordin T. Kare
  115. ^ Worldwide Patents of Jordin T. Kare
  116. ^ US Patents of Ravi K. Arimilli
  117. ^ Worldwide Patents of Ravi K. Arimilli
  118. ^ Worldwide Patents of Louis H. Morin
  119. ^ US Patents of Tobin A. King
  120. ^ Worldwide Patents of Tobin A. King
  121. ^ US Patents of Jack A. Mandelman
  122. ^ Worldwide Patents of Jack A. Mandelman
  123. ^ US Patents of Bruce B. Doris
  124. ^ Worldwide Patents of Bruce B. Doris
  125. ^ US Patents of Jeffrey P. Gambino
  126. ^ Worldwide Patents of Jeffrey P. Gambino
  127. ^ US Patents of Eric C. Leuthardt
  128. ^ Worldwide Patents of Eric C. Leuthardt
  129. ^ US Patents of James M. Hart
  130. ^ Worldwide Patents of James M. Hart
  131. ^ US Patents of Eberhard Ammermann
  132. ^ Worldwide Patents of Eberhard Ammermann
  133. ^ Full patent listing for Thomas E. Murray
  134. ^ Thomas E. Murray web site
  135. ^ US Patents of John M. Santosuosso
  136. ^ Worldwide Patents of John M. Santosuosso
  137. ^ US Patents of Akira Nakazawa
  138. ^ Worldwide Patents of Akira Nakazawa
  139. ^ US Patents of Hongyong Zhang
  140. ^ Worldwide Patents of Hongyong Zhang
  141. ^ US Patents of Scott H. Wittkopp
  142. ^ Worldwide Patents of Scott H. Wittkopp
  143. ^ Worldwide Patents of John Hays Hammond, Jr.
  144. ^ The Infography of John Hays Hammond, Jr.
  145. ^ US Patents of Ali Khakifirooz
  146. ^ Worldwide Patents of Ali Khakifirooz
  147. ^ US Patents of Wilhelm Brandes
  148. ^ Worldwide Patents of Wilhelm Brandes
  149. ^ US Patents of Ronald S. Cok
  150. ^ Worldwide Patents of Ronald S. Cok
  151. ^ US Patents of Robert S. Langer
  152. ^ Worldwide Patents of Robert S. Langer
  153. ^ US Patents of Stanford R. Ovshinsky
  154. ^ Worldwide Patents of Stanford R. Ovshinsky
  155. ^ US Patents of Stanford Ovshinsky
  156. ^ US Patents of Anthony K. Stamper
  157. ^ Worldwide Patents of Anthony K. Stamper
  158. ^ US Patents of Josef Theurer
  159. ^ Worldwide Patents of Josef Theurer
  160. ^ US Patents of Hans-Joachim Santel
  161. ^ Worldwide Patents of Hans-Joachim Santel
  162. ^ US Patents of David V. Horak
  163. ^ Worldwide Patents of David V. Horak
  164. ^ US Patents of Gisela Lorenz
  165. ^ Worldwide Patents of Gisela Lorenz
  166. ^ US Patents of George P. Liang
  167. ^ Worldwide Patents of George P. Liang
  168. ^ US Patents of Cary L. Bates
  169. ^ Worldwide Patents of Cary L. Bates
  170. ^ Bio of Cary L. Bates
  171. ^ US Patents of Victoria Y. H. Wood
  172. ^ Worldwide Patents of Victoria Y. H. Wood
  173. ^ US Patents of Garry R. Jackson
  174. ^ Worldwide Patents of Garry R. Jackson
  175. ^ US Patents of Kai-Li Jiang
  176. ^ Worldwide Patents of Kai-Li Jiang
  177. ^ US Patents of Paul W. Dent
  178. ^ Worldwide Patents of Paul W. Dent
  179. ^ George Westinghouse article at ideafinder.com
  180. ^ Hubert, P. G. (1894). Men of achievement. Inventors. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Page 296+
  181. ^ George Westinghouse article in Encyclopaedia Britannica
  182. ^ US Patents of Robert R. Schmidt
  183. ^ Worldwide Patents of Robert R. Schmidt
  184. ^ US Patents of Norman M. Berry
  185. ^ Worldwide Patents of Norman M. Berry
  186. ^ US Patents of Vincent J. Zimmer
  187. ^ Worldwide Patents of Vincent J. Zimmer
  188. ^ US Patents of Mark W. Kroll
  189. ^ Worldwide Patents of Mark W. Kroll
  190. ^ Bio of Mark Kroll
  191. ^ US Patents of Wael W. Diab
  192. ^ Worldwide Patents of Wael W. Diab
  193. ^ US Patents of Chih-Chao Yang
  194. ^ Worldwide Patents of Chih-Chao Yang
  195. ^ US Patents of William Daniel Hillis
  196. ^ Worldwide Patents of William Daniel Hillis
  197. ^ US Patents of Brian M. O'Connell
  198. ^ Worldwide Patents of Brian M. O'Connell
  199. ^ US Patents of Devendra K. Sadana
  200. ^ Worldwide Patents of Devendra K. Sadana
  201. ^ US Patents of Jeffrey E. Stahmann
  202. ^ Worldwide Patents of Jeffrey E. Stahmann
  203. ^ US Patents of Brent A. Anderson
  204. ^ Worldwide Patents of Brent A. Anderson
  205. ^ US Patents of Gregory J. Boss
  206. ^ Worldwide Patents of Gregory J. Boss
  207. ^ US Patents of Carl J. Radens
  208. ^ Worldwide Patents of Carl J. Radens
  209. ^ US Patents of Liang Liu
  210. ^ Worldwide Patents of Liang Liu
  211. ^ US Patents of Victoria Smith
  212. ^ Worldwide Patents of Victoria Smith
  213. ^ US Patents of Steven L. Teig
  214. ^ Worldwide Patents of Steven L. Teig
  215. ^ US Patents of William R. Tonti
  216. ^ Worldwide Patents of William R. Tonti
  217. ^ US Patents of Clifford A. Pickover
  218. ^ Worldwide Patents of Clifford A. Pickover
  219. ^ US Patents of Keith R. Walker
  220. ^ Worldwide Patents of Keith R. Walker
  221. ^ US Patents of Adam Heller
  222. ^ Worldwide Patents of Adam Heller
  223. ^ The 12 US Patents of Adam Heller prior to 1976
  224. ^ US Patents of Victor S. Moore
  225. ^ Worldwide Patents of Victor S. Moore
  226. ^ US Patents of Brent Keeth
  227. ^ Worldwide Patents of Brent Keeth
  228. ^ US Patents of Hartley Owen
  229. ^ Worldwide Patents of Hartley Owen
  230. ^ US Patents of Daniel J. Winarski
  231. ^ Worldwide Patents of Daniel J. Winarski
  232. ^ US Patents of Yoshihiro Kikuchi
  233. ^ Worldwide Patents of Yoshihiro Kikuchi
  234. ^ US Patents of Michael A. Rothman
  235. ^ Worldwide Patents of Michael A. Rothman
  236. ^ US Patents of Nobuyuki Taniguchi
  237. ^ Worldwide Patents of Nobuyuki Taniguchi
  238. ^ US Patents of Kulvir S. Bhogal
  239. ^ Worldwide Patents of Kulvir S. Bhogal
  240. ^ US Patents of Lisa Seacat DeLuca
  241. ^ Worldwide Patents of Lisa Seacat DeLuca
  242. ^ US Patents of Philip S. Yu
  243. ^ Worldwide Patents of Philip S. Yu
  244. ^ US Patents of Rajiv V. Joshi
  245. ^ Worldwide Patents of Rajiv V. Joshi
  246. ^ US Patents of Takeshi Chujoh
  247. ^ Worldwide Patents of Takeshi Chujoh
  248. ^ US Patents of Johnny M. Shieh
  249. ^ Worldwide Patents of Johnny M. Shieh
  250. ^ US Patents of Dean L. Kamen
  251. ^ Worldwide Patents of Dean L. Kamen
  252. ^ US Patents of Bengt Lindoff
  253. ^ Worldwide Patents of Bengt Lindoff
  254. ^ US Patents of Gerald F. McBrearty
  255. ^ Worldwide Patents of Gerald F. McBrearty
  256. ^ US Patents of Hiroshi (You) Yoshioka
  257. ^ Worldwide Patents of Hiroshi (You) Yoshioka
  258. ^ US Patents of Patrick B. Usoro
  259. ^ Worldwide Patents of Patrick B. Usoro
  260. ^ US Patents of Thomas J. Kennedy III
  261. ^ Worldwide Patents of Thomas J. Kennedy III
  262. ^ Prolific Inventors: Who are They and Where do They Locate? International Centre for Economic Research Working Paper No. 14/2010
  263. ^ List of Nikola Tesla patents
  264. ^ Jim Bieberich's Complete Nikola Tesla U.S. Patent Collection
  265. ^ a b The Patent Board website
  266. ^ 1790 Analytics website
  267. ^ USPTO Utility Patent Search for Rick Allen Hamilton II for 2012
  268. ^ USPTO Patent Search website