Thursday, April 12, 2007

World's Most Prolific Inventor: Who is Shunpei Yamazaki?

Last night's Final Jeopardy! answer was "Shunpei Yamazaki", an inventor who holds more than 3,200 patents, a world record.

According to the USPTO web site, Yamazaki has 1,688 issued U.S. patents and 1,261 published applications. A search in Patent Lens, a non-profit patent database service, retrieved 3,226 U.S., European and international patent documents credited to Yamazaki. The EPO's esp@cenet system, which contains more than 60 million patent documents from 70+ countries, records 7,285 patents and published applications for Yamazaki. In contrast, Thomas Edison, America's most prolific inventor, rec'd some 1,100 U.S. patents during his lifetime.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Withdrawn Patents on FreePatentsOnline

Withdrawn patent data is now searchable on FreePatentsOnline. Withdrawn patents may be retrieved by searching the term "withdrawn" in the title field. This search retrieves approximately 22,600 withdrawn patents, the oldest being No. 4,246,372, withdrawn in 1981.

Allowed U.S. patent applications may be withdrawn prior to issue at the request of the applicant or USPTO provided certain conditions are met. Common reasons for withdrawal requests include the discovery of new prior art that could invalidate one or more claims in the allowed application, an error or illegality in the application, the applicant makes a request for continued examination (RCE) of an application or an interference. See Section 1308 of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure for details.