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.