Call for Nominations for 40th Annual Inventor of the Year Award

By Gene Quinn on May 8, 2013

The Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation currently has an open Call for Nominations for the 40th Annual Inventor of the Year Award. Nominations are due by May 15, 2013, and the winner (and the nominators) will be honored on Monday, December 10, 2013, in Washington, D.C. at a gala event. Last year the awards ceremony was attended by approximately 300 people, with the event being held in the old Patent Office building in Washington, DC, which is now home to the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. In my opinion, the IPO Inventor of the Year award ceremony is one of the best events our industry hosts, and one I look forward to every year.

The purpose of the award is to increase public awareness of inventors and how they benefit the nation’s economy and our quality of life.  To accomplish this goal the IPO Inventor of the Year Award recognizes the most outstanding recent inventor (or inventors in the case of joint invention). Thus, nominations are being solicited from independent inventors, as well as inventors employed in industry, universities, and government. While some of the material you may have read indicates that the invention must be U.S. centric, inventions originating outside the U.S. are eligible for the award.

If you do decide to nominate someone keep in mind the invention must be of recent vintage. This is not a lifetime achievement award as would be the case with the Inventors Hall of Fame, for example.

Last year the award for Inventor of the Year was given to Alex Kipman of Microsoft for his invention of Kinects. See A Night at the Smithsonian, Patent Style. However, 4 of the last 9 years the IPO has recognized inventors of green technologies. See IPO Inventor Award Rewards Green Technologies. Will that trend continue in 2013? A lot has to do with who the industry nominates. So nominate the inventor who you think deserves this recognition today!

An inventor is eligible for the 2013 award if the invention meets all three of the following criteria:

  1. The invention is covered by a patent published in English.
  2. The invention was recently commercialized.
  3. The invention has had a significant impact on society.

Previously submitted nominations may be resubmitted, and anyone may submit a nomination. Self-nominations are acceptable.

The information that should be submitted to support the nomination includes:

  1. A one-page, non-technical summary of the invention.
  2. A one-page biography of the inventor.
  3. A copy of the patent.
  4. A statement addressing the following questions:
    • What economic impact has the invention had?
    • What effect has the invention had on humanity?
    • What effect has the invention had on the environment?
    • Is the invention subject to regulatory approval? If so, what is the status?
    • Is the patent a subject of pending litigation or other scrutiny? If yes, please attach an explanation.

Nominations may also include video footage, photographs or drawings, and newspaper or magazine articles, technical reports, independent evaluations and/or marketing information.

Frankly, I think every law firm should nominate an inventor for this award. We are on the front lines of innovation and have the opportunity to work with some exciting inventions. So dig through your files and see who can and should be recognized for their achievements.

The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a patent attorney and the founder of IPWatchdog.com. He is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and an attorney with Widerman & Malek.

Gene’s particular specialty as a patent attorney is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He has worked with independent inventors and start-up businesses in a variety of different technology fields, but specializes in software, systems and electronics.

is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney licensed to practice before the United States Patent Office and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Gene is a graduate of Franklin Pierce Law Center and holds both a J.D. and an LL.M. Prior to law school he graduated from Rutgers University with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering.

You can contact Gene via e-mail.

Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on IPWatchdog.com do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of IPWatchdog.com. Read more.

Discuss this

There are currently 3 Comments comments.

  1. jon May 8, 2013 6:59 pm

    “…..on Monday, December 10, 2012″

    You did mean 2013, not 2012?

  2. Gene Quinn May 8, 2013 11:08 pm

    Thanks Jon. Date is fixed. The award will be given out on December 10, 2013.

    -Gene

  3. Chris Post May 16, 2013 11:57 am

    The 94-year-old inventor of Innovation Factory’s best-selling Trucker’s Friend is also an honored war hero (member of the Dutch Resistance) and has been recognized by Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation for helping to save Jews from the Nazis. You can read more (and see pictures) at their blog: http://innovationfactory.com/2013/05/meet-the-inventor-of-the-truckers-friend/