Inventors Hall of Fame Moves to USPTO

By Gene Quinn
March 18, 2009

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced the opening of the National Inventors Hall of Fame in the museum of its Alexandria, Va., campus. The Hall of Fame honors and encourages the men and women responsible for the great technological advances that make human, social and economic progress possible. The Hall of Fame opening is being celebrated with a new exhibit about the inductees, “Inventive Links.”

The Hall of Fame was founded in 1973 by the USPTO and the National Council of Intellectual Property Law Associations with the induction of Thomas Edison as the first honoree. Each year, inductees are selected from a field of people nominated by peers and the public. Today there are 390 inventors who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Originally housed at the USPTO, the Hall outgrew its location and moved to Akron, Ohio where it opened to the public in 1995 and where it developed additional programs. The building in Akron closed last year for construction of the National Inventors Hall of Fame School…Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Learning which will open this fall. The organization’s headquarters, from where it administers its national programs, remain in Ohio.

“We are delighted that the National Inventors Hall of Fame has returned to its roots at the United States Patent and Trademark Office,” Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO John Doll commented. “The journey to induction begins here with a patent, so it is only appropriate that those innovators who have truly transformed our lives should be honored at our headquarters.”

The “Inventive Links” exhibit illustrates the unexpected way in which modern technology is interlinked. Visitors take a journey along the exhibit wall and view six unique sections starting with a question and following the connections. With a little inventiveness and some detective work, you will see how each path links the innovations of a variety of inventors inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

The links that connect these inventors are drawn from the inductee inventions, the patents and trademarks they hold, and the interconnecting events and circumstances of their lives. Through these many and varied links you will discover how seemingly unrelated inventions have led to many major technological achievements.

In addition to “Inventive Links”, the museum features an interactive kiosk with biographical profiles and information on all 390 inductees. The atrium of the Madison Building also has an exhibit honoring this year’s inductees, who will be formally enshrined on May 2.

“Inventive Links” was created for the USPTO by the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation, which runs the museum and gift shop. Both the Hall of Fame and “Inventive Links” exhibits are located in the USPTO’s Museum off the atrium of the Madison Building, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Va. The museum and Hall of Fame is open Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on Saturdays from noon to 5:00 p.m. It is closed Sundays and federal holidays. Admission is free.

The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a Patent Attorney and Editor and President & CEO ofIPWatchdog, Inc.. Gene founded in 1999. Gene is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and Of Counsel to the law firm of Berenato & White, LLC. Gene’s specialty is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He consults with attorneys facing peculiar procedural issues at the Patent Office, advises investors and executives on patent law changes and pending litigation matters, and works with start-up businesses throughout the United States and around the world, primarily dealing with software and computer related innovations. is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. CLICK HERE to send Gene a message.

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Discuss this

There are currently 2 Comments comments.

  1. Priss March 18, 2009 1:14 pm

    Please don’t forget Nathan B. Stubblefield inventor of our great “Wireless Telephone.” Patent # 887 357 awarded in 1908. This is one of the greatest technologies in our history, utilized today throughout the world in a matter of years and simply.

  2. EG March 19, 2009 10:06 am


    Is the Hall of Fame permanently moving back to DC, or only temporarily until the renovation in Akron is finished?