Shunpei Yamazaki (山崎 舜平? Yamazaki Shumpei, born 1942) is a Japanese inventor in the field of computer science and solid-state physics. He is a prolific inventor listed on 4,063 U.S. utility patents, as of July 7, 2015. In 2005 he was named as the most prolific inventor in history by USA Today. Yamazaki was subsequently passed by Kia Silverbrook on February 26, 2008.
Semiconductor Energy Laboratory
Shunpei Yamazaki is the president and majority shareholder of research company Semiconductor Energy Laboratory (SEL) in Tokyo. Most of the patents he holds are in relation to computer display technology and held by SEL, with Yamazaki named either individually or jointly as inventor. Since 1996, SEL has appeared in the Intellectual Property Owners Association annual listings of the top global companies ranked by US patents:
|Year||IPO Rank||U.S. Patents|
Recently, SEL developed a display technology using crystallized indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) as the transparent semiconductor material in the TFT array in conjunction with Sharp Corporation. SEL has an increasing patent portfolio relating to IGZO. SEL was awarded the Gold Award for the Display of the Year with Sharp at the Society for Information Display in 2013.
SEL vs Samsung
In 1996, SEL was involved in a patent case against Samsung. District court[who?] has found that SEL patent 5,543,636 is not enforceable because of inequitable conduct on the part of SEL (in particular, it was found that SEL had intentionally withheld one of the references, and had intentionally misled the examiner, with deceitful intent). In 2000, decision of district court[who?] has been affirmed by United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co. v. Samsung Electronics Co., 204 F.3d 1368, 1374, 54 USPQ2d 1001, 1005 (Fed. Cir. 2000).
This case has had important implications on US patent processes. In particular, the court has held that "withheld reference may be highly material when it discloses a more complete combination of relevant features, even if those features are before the patent examiner in other references." Based in part on this case, the Patent Office has suggested that patent applicants "evaluate the materiality of prior art or other information from the viewpoint of whether it is the closest prior art or other information"  and "that an attorney or agent make sure that foreign clients, including foreign applicants, attorneys, and agents understand the requirements of the duty of disclosure, and that the U.S. attorney or agent review any information disclosure statements or citations to ensure that compliance with 37 CFR 1.56 is present".
- USPTO Patent Search for Shunpei/Shumpei Yamazaki
- USA Today
- The Ten Greatest Inventors In The Modern Era Business Insider, 6 May 2011
- The True Inventor Basson-Booyens website
- Organizations Receiving U.S. Patents in 1996
- Organizations Receiving U.S. Patents in 1997
- Top 300 Organizations Receiving U.S. Patents in 1998
- Top 300 Organizations Receiving U.S. Patents in 1999
- Top 300 Organizations Receiving U.S. Patents in 2000
- Top 300 Organizations Receiving U.S. Patents in 2001
- Top 300 Organizations Receiving U.S. Patents in 2002
- 2003 Top Patent Owners
- 2004 Top Patent Owners
- Top 300 Organizations Granted U.S. Patents in 2005
- Top 300 Organizations Granted U.S. Patents in 2006
- Top 300 Organizations Granted U.S. Patents in 2007
- Top 300 Organizations Granted U.S. Patents in 2008
- Top 300 Organizations Granted U.S. Patents in 2009
- Top Global Companies Ranked By 2010 U.S. Patents
- IFI CLAIMS® 2011 Top 50 US Patent Assignees
- SEL was awarded the Gold Award for the Display of the Year Honor for IGZO LCD with Sharp at SID* Display Week 2013
- SEL v. Samsung
- MPEP 2004 Aids to Compliance With Duty of Disclosure (R-2) - 2000 Duty of Disclosure)