U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USTPO) recently inducted 19 of the country’s greatest inventors (nine of which are still living) into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. The gala event, held at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., spotlighted the transformative role of innovation in our society and reminded us all of the importance of protecting our own innovations.
Congratulations to the winners
The measuring stick for issuing these awards was extremely high. Those honored included:
- Chieko Asakawa – She created the Home Page Reader, which is accessible technology for the visually impaired.
- David Walt – He developed microwell arrays that analyze thousands of genes at once.
- S. Duncan Black and Alonzo G. Decker – Their invention of the power drill laid the groundwork for the handheld power-tool industry.
- Andrew Higgins – He invented the WWII landing boats famously used for getting troops to the beaches of Normandy for D-Day.
Other winners included the inventors of bread machines (Joseph Lee), fluoride toothpaste (Joseph Muhler and William Nebergall), digital nonlinear editing systems (Bill Warner), virtual instrumentation (Jeff Kodosky and James Truchard), and medical devices for low-resource settings (Rebecca Richards-Kortum). Past inductees include Thomas Edison, Orville and Wilbur Wright, George Washington Carver, and hundreds of others. For a complete list and details of these accomplishments, please go to Invent.org to be inspired.
Edison owned more than 1,000 patents
Great Inventors are visionary, often thinking outside the box or doing what was thought to be impossible. What often separates the great ideas that never come to fruition from innovative inventions is the work of developing and protecting these ideas. A knowledgeable intellectual-property attorney can help inventors make the journey to becoming the next innovators to follow in the footsteps of Thomas Edison and Chieko Asakawa.