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Posts Tagged ‘ famous inventors ’

IBM Inventors Join Hall of Fame for Pioneering Programmable Computing

Posted: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 @ 11:37 am | Written by Gene Quinn | Comments Off
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Posted in: Companies We Follow, Computers, Famous Inventors, Gene Quinn, IBM, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, Software, Software Patent Basics, Technology & Innovation

Pictured (from left) Francis Hamilton (IBM engineer), Clair Lake (IBM engineer) Howard Aiken (Harvard professor) and Benjamin Durfee (IBM engineer) — 2014 National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees for their invention of the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (ASCC)

Later this evening the National Inventors Hall of Fame will induct three IBM (NYSE: IBM) engineers for their invention of the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (ASCC), which was developed more than 70 years ago to rapidly and accurately perform complex mathematical calculations. The ASCC was a precursor to today’s cognitive computing systems like IBM Watson, which rapidly analyze data and learn and interact naturally with people. The ASCC ushered in the programmable computing era, which would ultimately provide the ability to put a man on the moon and to make the Internet a reality.

IBM inventors Benjamin Durfee, Francis Hamilton and Clair Lake, as well as Harvard professor and co-inventor Howard Aiken, will be posthumously honored by the Hall of Fame in a ceremony at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the home of the National Inventors Hall of Fame. The National Inventors Hall of Fame, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to recognizing and honoring invention and creativity, as well as honoring the men and women responsible for the great technological advances that make human, social and economic progress possible.

Durfee, Hamilton, Lake and Aiken will be inducted for their invention disclosed in U.S. Patent No. 2,616,626, which is simply titled Calculator. The patent application was filed on February 8, 1945, but did not issue until November 4, 1952. The invention described in the ’626 patent was the first automatic digital calculator able to retain mathematical rules in its memory and not require reprogramming to solve a new set of problems. It represented a significant advance. Because reprogramming was not necessary, the invention was a powerful improvement, offering far greater speed in performing a host of complex mathematical calculations.



Today in Patent History: Blue Jeans Patented May 20, 1873

Posted: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 @ 6:00 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 4 comments
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Posted in: Famous Inventors, Gene Quinn, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, Technology & Innovation

The only Figure from Davis’ U.S. Patent No. 139,121.

On May 20, 1873, an icon American fashion was born, or at least patented, when the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued U.S. Patent No. 139,121, titled Fastening Pocket-Openings. The ’121 patent, which was granted to Jacob W. Davis and jointly assigned to himself and to Levi Strauss & Company, ushered in the era of denim blue jeans. The ’121 patent specifically related to copper rivet fasteners for denim trousers, which proved to be extremely desirable and durable.

Davis, a tailor by training, revolutionized fashion after being asked by a customer if he could create a durable pair of trousers for her husband, who was a woodcutter. When Davis created these pants he used the now familiar copper rivet fasteners. Davis charged only $3 for that first pair of jeans in 1870. See Your Denim Jeans Are a Nevada Invention.

The durable patents with the rivets turned out to be extremely popular, with more and more customers asking for Davis to make them a pair of the rivet clad durable pants. It was at this point that David thought that he was on to something big, which lead him to want to patent what he had invented. In order to accomplish this he approached Levi Strauss and ask him to partner with him. Strauss agreed and paid the patent fees. See Jacob Davis and the Copper-riveted Jeans.



Patent Drafting: Not as Easy as You Think

Posted: Saturday, May 17, 2014 @ 8:00 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 38 comments
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Posted in: Educational Information for Inventors, Gene Quinn, Inventors Information, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patent Basics, Patent Drafting, Patent Drawings, Patents

This is one of those articles that I write every so often, in slightly different ways, in order to try and explain to inventors what it is that they need to know before they make an enormously costly mistake.  For better or for worse, there is a popular misconception that patent attorneys and patent agents are not really necessary and an inventor can do it themselves and save money.  The truth is that patent attorneys are among the most highly trained attorneys you will ever meet.  In addition to having to successfully complete law school and taken a State Bar Examination, patent attorneys must have a scientific background or else they cannot even sit for the Patent Bar Examination.  As John White explains, a person becomes a patent attorney when they lack sufficient personality and charisma to do tax work!  But when it comes to describing your invention in a document that will grant you exclusive rights with respect to only what is disclosed and claimed, isn’t that the exact type of person you want in your corner?

Of course, financial resources can and do provide a real impediment to moving forward with any business opportunity. Unless you are independently wealthy you are almost certainly going to need to proceed one step at a time as you move forward toward your goal of commercial success and financial reward. That means investing wisely, and sometimes doing more on your own than you would like. To get from point A, where you have an idea or early stage invention, to point B, where you are reaping the rewards, it is imperative to proceed in a business responsible way. That must also include proceeding with your eyes fully open and understanding the potential pitfalls and consequences if you are going to attempt to represent yourself in the patent world. If the choice is to move forward on your own versus not moving forward at all, then representing yourself is the only option. If you have the choice and can afford professional assistance, hiring a patent practitioner should be considered essential.



Completely Describe Your Invention in a Patent Application

Posted: Saturday, May 10, 2014 @ 3:39 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 1 Comment »
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Posted in: Educational Information for Inventors, Gene Quinn, Inventors Information, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patent Basics, Patent Drafting, Patent Drawings, Patents

In order for any patent application to be complete the invention must be described with great particularity. Many times an inventor will only generally describe the invention in a patent application, which creates a significant problem.

This problem recently presented itself to me when an inventor provided me with an extremely vague description of their invention and wanted me to do a patent search and prepare a provisional patent application. I explained to the inventor that I needed much more detailed information. The inventor told me that he supplied plenty of information and was not going to supply any more because he wanted to keep the description very general. That is, of course, his right, but a general description is a recipe for failure. I declined representation. I don’t need those type of headaches.

This interaction is more common than you might think. Inventors not only frequently think they know more about patents than a patent attorney, but inventors also frequently think it is best to have the broadest most vague description of an invention possible. Conceptually a general description may seem best, but if you have any knowledge of U.S. patent law you realize that general, non-informative and vague descriptions are unacceptable. The law simply requires more.



Hollywood Patents: Inventions from 12 Celebrity Inventors

Posted: Monday, Mar 3, 2014 @ 12:32 pm | Written by Gene Quinn & Steve Brachmann | 1 Comment »
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Posted in: Famous Inventors, Fun Stuff, Gene Quinn, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, Steve Brachmann

Last night at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA, the best and the brightest film stars, directors, producers and more came together for the 86th Academy Awards. This year’s awards ceremony, hosted by talk show personality and comedienne Ellen DeGeneres, was centered around the theme of honoring movie heroes, especially those acts which the camera doesn’t catch on the set.

The big winners were 12 Years a Slave, which came away with 2 Oscars including one for best picture, Gravity, which walked away with 7 Oscars, and Dallas Buyers Club, which saw Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto come away with Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor respectively.

But this is not an article about the Academy Awards per se. With all the hype about the Academy Awards we thought it might be interesting to see just how many Hollywood celebrities were inventors. Below is our list of the most interesting inventions from a number of well known actors and directors.



The Legacy of George Washington Carver, Tuskegee Educator, Innovator and Renaissance Man

Posted: Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014 @ 5:20 pm | Written by Eric Guttag | Comments Off
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Posted in: Eric Guttag, Famous Inventors, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Technology & Innovation

EDITORIAL NOTE: Each year February is Black History Month, but this year we will also mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. With this in mind we decided to do a series celebrating the important and innovative contributions of African-Americans. Earlier this month Eric Guttag wrote The Black Edison: Granville T. Woods. What is below is part 2 of his article on George Washington Carver. To read part 1 visit God’s Scientist: George Washington Carver. Later this month we also will take a look at recent innovations coming out of historically black colleges and universities. For more on this topic please visit black inventors on IPWatchdog.com.

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George Washington Carver circa 1910.

Carver received a fair degree of recognition at Iowa State College as the only African-American with advanced training in agricultural science.  He also enjoyed a fairly comfortable income considering his very humble upbringing.  By being the only African-American with advanced training in agricultural science, many other universities also wanted Carver as a professor in that science.

Then one day in 1896 came a letter from Booker T. Washington, President of the fledgling Tuskegee Institute (its full name then was “Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute”).  Booker T. Washington was a well-known and influential African-American educator, later to visit the White House at the invitation of then President Theodore Roosevelt.  Like Carver, Booker T. Washington had been born into slavery and felt that African-Americans must be educated if they were to achieve economic, as well as racial equality in American society.



God’s Scientist: George Washington Carver

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014 @ 9:06 am | Written by Eric Guttag | Comments Off
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Posted in: Eric Guttag, Famous Inventors, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents

EDITORIAL NOTE: Each year February is Black History Month, but this year we will also mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. With this in mind we decided to do a series celebrating the important and innovative contributions of African-Americans. This article is about George Washington Carver. Earlier this month Eric Guttag also wrote The Black Edison: Granville T. Woods. Later this month we also will take a look at recent innovations coming out of historically black colleges and universities. For more on this topic please visit black inventors on IPWatchdog.com.

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George Washington Carver in 1942.

Again, in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, here is my second article on African-American inventors:  George Washington Carver.  Carver was not only a talented innovator, but was also an extremely gifted educator and scientist.

So as I usually do, let’s start off with a couple of questions.  Before today, how many of you knew George Washington Carver was a scientist and educator?  Now how many of you knew Carver was also a talented painter, as well as a talented musician?  How many of you knew that Carver was a man of devout Christian faith?  Well, before this article ends, you may learn quite a few things about Carver you never knew before.

I’ve divided this tribute to Carver into essentially six sections, which will be covered in a two-part series.  I begin by giving you an overview of the early years of Carver’s life, including his family background, early education, as well as his developing Christian faith.  Then we will move onto Carver’s activities as a young adult. In part 2 of this series we will  then review the most well-known part of Carver’s career, as an educator and scientist at Tuskegee Institute, including the tremendous impact he had in educating young black students, and the local farm community near Tuskegee, as well as exploring and revealing the wonders of agricultural science, including innovating and developing the infant domestic peanut industry.  We will then close out Carver’s career during his final years at the Tuskegee Institute.  And, if it’s possible to do it justice, in the last section, I’ll wrap up with a final assessment of Carver’s legacy on those he touched directly, and also on those of us like you and me that he has touched indirectly.



Unite to Fight Patent Reform Legislation

Posted: Monday, Feb 10, 2014 @ 10:18 am | Written by Randy Landreneau | 59 comments
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Posted in: Congress, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patent Reform, Patents

EDITORIAL NOTE: The following article has been posted as an online petition you may sign by visiting IndependentInventorsofAmerica.org. On Friday the United States Senate held additional hearings and seem poised to act relatively quickly on the Senate version of patent reform. For information about how to directly contact your U.S. Senators please see Senators of the 113th Congress.

Randy Landreneau

We represent independent inventors and small patent-based businesses across the country and we are against any patent legislation that includes provisions of the Innovation Act (H.R. 3309) and the many variations and additions under consideration in the Senate. This legislation will levy grave harm upon independent inventors and small patent-based businesses, as well as the investors we need to help commercialize new technologies and to protect our inventions.

The American patent system is a trade between an inventor and society. An inventor discloses an invention for all to see and build upon, and the government grants and protects for the inventor an exclusive right to the invention for a short period. The American patent system was intended to enable anyone, regardless of economic status, race or gender, to profit from the invention of something new and valuable. This system has worked as intended for over 200 years, fueling the creation of the greatest economy in the world.