It’s Patently Amazing

Aerospace is home to a lot of smart people, resulting in innovative solutions and new ideas. This is reflected in Aerospace’s patent collection, which reached a milestone last fiscal year: Aerospace received its 500th patent on May 28, 2013.

That patent, “Refraction Assisted Illumination for Imaging,” provides several new techniques for obtaining clearer images of small objects such as semiconductors that are examined under a microscope at a much lower cost than what is currently available.  Aerospace is currently in discussions for licensing this 500th patent and other related patents to a commercial company.

It is U.S. Patent No. 8,450,688, and was issued to Stephen La Lumondiere, Terence Yeoh, Martin Leung, Neil Ives, William Lotshaw, and Steven Moss.

Although this lucky bunch happened to invent something at the right time to reach an even number, a lot of Aerospace employees contributed to that 500 mark.

Starting off the list was Rudolf Meyer, who was issued the first ever Aerospace patent on May 17, 1962 for “Hypervelocity Propulsion Arrangement,” U.S. Patent No. 3,126,789. That patent, since expired, was the first in a chain of Aerospace inventiveness.

Other employees have gone on to invent everything from “Fast-Acting Valve Apparatuses” to a “Pseudo Gyro With Unmodeled Disturbance Torque Estimation.”

The employee with the most Aerospace patents, Robert Dybdal, has been helping out the overall total with the 22 patents he’s garnered.

Other employees with patents in the double digits are Richard Welle, Hsieh Hou, Edward Simburger, Gary Hawkins, Charles Wang, Siegfried Janson, Henry Helvajian, Jon Osborn, and Kasemsan Siri.

At Aerospace, age does not preclude inventiveness. Denny Pidhayny picked up nine patents during his career at Aerospace, including one that was issued when he was 91 years old.

The patent process doesn’t stop when the patent is issued. Andrew Quintero in the Aerospace Intellectual Property Programs office works hard to license these innovative concepts to companies that can make good use of them.

It stands to reason that Aerospace’s brainy folks will continue to come up with new ideas. To see what they have come up with most recently, check out the U.S. Patent Database

—Laura Johnson