How PQAI maintains user privacy?

When you use PQAI for running prior-art searches, you can rest assured that PQAI provides you complete privacy.

Unlike most search engines, which track everything you do, PQAI never tracks or saves your search data. We believe that it is very much needed for a platform like PQAI, which is used by many inventors to validate the novelty of their ideas.

When you enter a search query on PQAI, it goes to our server in the cloud on a secure, encrypted link. The server finds the results matching your query from its database, and sends them off back your way. After this, no traces of your query are left on the server.

(This policy of never storing user search queries is also mentioned on PQAI’s search page – see the link at the bottom of the page.)

Please note even though we don’t track user data, we do store few anonymous traffic statistics such as number of requests. This helps us scale our servers appropriately to handle the traffic, deter abuse, and understand how people find value on our platform.

How do we train our AI?

Another question is whether our AI learns from user behavior? The answer is – no. The fact that we don’t track or save search data makes it impossible for us to train our AI on it.

But that leads to another question: how do we train it then? The answer is: patent office examination data.

We download the examination data that is routinely published by the USPTO on their website, then we process it to create training datasets for our AI. Many contributors from the open source community have helped us in this process.

How do we maintain transparency?

Being part of an open-source effort aimed at accelerating the innovation in patent-mining space, we are committed to also provide the output of these efforts to the community. In fact, we have recently published one of our training dataset on Huggingface. You can find it here.

And it’s not just the dataset, but our AI model is also publicly available. Same goes for the source code of the search engine, which you can find on Github.

Net-net, we maintain 100% user privacy and the open-source nature of our project ensures full transparency.

The Top 20 AI Inventors and their Most Cited Patents

If our era is the next Industrial Revolution, as many claim, AI is surely one of its driving forces.

 – Fei-Fei Li

AI is no more limited to sci-fi movies. The endeavor to replicate or simulate human intelligence in machines has made AI mainstream in the last decade. As a result, AI has left a lasting impact on all our lives. From being a figment of our imaginations to becoming an intrinsic part of our every day, the AI revolution is real and is here to stay. 

We looked back at 2020 and put together a list of the top 20 inventors of Artificial Intelligence. 

Top 20 AI inventors
  1. Sarbajit Rakshit

An Application Architect and seeker of solutions, Sarbjit Rakshit, is an IBM Master Inventor with a degree in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Engineering, Science and Technology.

Source – Forbes

He was awarded 163 US patents in 2019, the highest ever awarded to a citizen of India in a single year. His patent portfolio contains 359 patents in Artificial Intelligence globally, belonging to 271 unique patent families.

The most valuable patent in Sarbajit’s portfolio is US20160070439A1 – Electronic commerce using augmented reality glasses and a smartwatch. This patent family is the most cited (47 times) by companies Ariadne’s Thread (USA) Inc., Microsoft Technology Licensing Llc, Siemens Ag, Ebay Inc, and Lucyd Ltd.

Source – US20160070439A1

Source – Verdict

Before we look at the rest of the list, here’s a fascinating insight. 11 of the top 20 AI inventors are either currently at StradVision or have worked there previously. Ten of these inventors are co-inventors on a patent. Not just any patent; it’s their most cited patent. Let’s find out what StradVision does and their most cited patent.

StradVision is a fairly new company, founded in late 2014. Their goal is to bring powerful and safe ADAS (Advanced driver-assistance systems) & self-driving technology to the masses. StradVision’s technology utilizes a novel perception algorithm allowing autonomous vehicles to reach the required level of safety, accuracy, and driver convenience. This is achieved through safe & reliable real-world object detection, tracking, segmentation, and classification. In addition, they have an auto-labeling system that produces training data with minimal human input and a semi-supervised learning-based training tool, enabling autonomous vehicles to detect and perceive environments in real-time.

StradVision - AI Assisted Driving For everyone

Source – StradVision

The most cited patent for these ten inventors is US10169679B1. The patent is for – “Learning method and learning device for adjusting parameters of CNN by using loss augmentation and testing method and testing device.


Source: StradVision

Yongjoong Kim, Woonhyun Nam, Sukhoon Boo, Myungchul Sung, Donghun Yeo, Wooju RYU, Taewoong Jang, Kyungjoong Jeong, Hongmo Je, Hojin Cho are co-inventors of the said patent.

The said patent family has been cited 27 times by companies Didi Res America Llc, Stradvision Inc, and Beijing Didi Infinity Technology. The patent’s geographical coverage extends to the United States, China, Japan, and Korea. 

  1. Wooju Ryu

Wooju Ryu is a Korean inventor with a master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Pohang University of Science and Technology. 

Wooju Ryu AI Inventor

Source: Twitter

He is presently an Algorithm Engineer at StradVision and works in Deep Learning, Computer Vision, ADAS, Text Recognition and Automatic Driving. He has been associated with Intel, Olaworks, and Samsung as a Senior Researcher between 2007 and 2016. 

Wooju Ryu - Technology wise Patents Distribution

His patent portfolio consists of 831 patents in the AI domain globally, which belong to 267 unique patent families.

  1. Woonhyun Nam

Woonhyun Nam is a Korean inventor with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science Engineering and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Computer Science and Engineering from the Pohang University of Science and Technology.

Woonhyun Nam - AI inventor

Source: ResearchGate

He is presently the Director, Lead of Algorithm Engineering at StradVision, Inc. His work profile is deeply seated in AI, with him being responsible for engineering, researching, investigating, and deploying algorithms across company products and services. 

Woonhyun Nam - Technology Area Patent famility count

His portfolio consists of 826 patents in the AI domain globally, which belong to 266 unique patent families. Most of his inventions are in the field of Instruments Technology.

  1. Hongmo Je

Hongmo Je is a Korean inventor with a Computer Science degree from the Pohang University of Science and Technology. 

Hongmo Je AI Inventor

Source: Crunchbase

Presently, he is the CTO of Stradvision and leads the RnD Integration/Engineering Team developing camera-based perception SW stack for ADAS/Autonomous Driving applications. He was previously the Engineering Manager at Intel and the head of RnD at Olaworks. 

HongMo Je - Technology wise Patent family count

Hongmo Je’s patent portfolio consists of 824 patents in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) domain globally which belong to 264 unique patent families. In addition, he holds 256 patents in the Instruments domain. 

  1. Donghun Yeo

Donghun Yeo is a Korean inventor with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and a Ph.D. in Computer vision from Pohang University of Science and Technology. 

Donghun Yeo - AI Inventor

Source: NIST

Yeo is presently a Senior Researcher at the Hana Institute of Technology. Previously, he was an algorithm engineer at StradVision.

Yeo’s patent portfolio comprises 824 patents in the Artificial Intelligence domain globally, belonging to 264 unique patent families. A significant chunk of his portfolio consists of innovations in Instrument Technology (255). 

  1. Myungchul Sung

Myungchul Sung is a Korean inventor with a master’s degree in Computer Science Engineering from the Pohang University of Science and Technology. He is an Algorithm Engineer at StradVision. 

He holds 824 patents in the Artificial Intelligence domain globally, which belong to 264 unique patent families. However, the most significant chunk of his patent portfolio is innovations in the Instruments Technology domain, amounting to 255. 

  1. Yong-Joong Kim

Yong-Joong Kim is a Korean inventor with a master’s degree in Computer Science from Yonsei University. He is presently an algorithm engineer at Stradvision. In the past, he has been a researcher at the Pohang University of Science and Technology and an IT coordinator at the National Institute for International Education. In addition, he has interned at the MARG Lab at Seoul National University.

  1. Taewoong Jang

Taewoong Jang is a Korean inventor with a bachelor’s degree in Physics & Math who graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Pohang University of Science and Technology. He was an Algorithm Engineer at StradVision and is now a Software Engineer at Coinone. 

He holds 824 patents in the Artificial Intelligence domain globally across 264 unique patent families. The majority of his patent portfolio (255 patents) are innovations related to Instruments Technology. 

  1. Kyungjoong Jeong

Kyungjoong Jeong is a Korean inventor who is an Algorithm Engineer at Stradvision. He graduated from Ulsan University as an Electrical Engineer as the Dean’s Honoured Graduate. He has previously been at Samsung Techwin and a Researcher at POSTECH, where he earned his Master’s degree. Deep Learning, Computer Vision, and Machine Learning are his research interests.

Kyungjoong Jeong’s patent portfolio has 824 patents in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) domain globally, belonging to 264 unique patent families. 255 of these patents are innovations in the field of Instruments Technology. 

  1. Hojin Cho

Hojin Cho is a Korean inventor with a degree in Computer Science Engineering and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Image Processing, Computer Graphics, and Computer Vision from the Pohang University of Science and Technology. He is an Algorithm Engineer at StradVision.

His portfolio consists of 824 patents in AI belonging to 264 unique patent families, of which 255 are in the sub-domain of Instruments Technology.

  1. Sukhoon Boo

Sukhoon Boo is a Korean inventor associated with StradVision Inc. His portfolio consists of 824 patents in AI belonging to 264 unique patent families, of which 255 are in the sub-domain of Instruments Technology.

  1. Hak-Kyoung Kim

Hak-Kyoung Kim is a Korean inventor and an algorithm engineer affiliated with Stradvision Inc. 

His portfolio consists of 758 patents in Artificial Intelligence globally, belonging to 251 unique patent families. In addition, he has 242 innovations in the domain of Instruments Technology.

The most valuable patent in Hak-Kyoung Kim’s portfolio is US10229346B1 – Learning method, learning device for detecting object using edge image and testing method. This is his most cited patent, having been cited 13 times. The patent’s geographical coverage is in the United States, China, Korea, and Japan.


  1. Kye-Hyeon Kim

Kye-Hyeon Kim is a Korean inventor with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and a Ph.D. in Computer Science (Machine Learning) from the Pohang University of Science and Technology.

Currently, he is the Chief Research Officer at Superb AI Inc. He has previously been associated with StradVision as an Algorithm Engineer, SK Telecom as a Research Scientist, and Intel and Samsung as a Senior Software Engineer. 

He holds 754 patents in the Artificial Intelligence domain globally, which belong to 251 unique patent families. However, the most significant chunk of his innovations is in the realm of Instruments Technology (242).

The most valuable patent in his portfolio is US10229346B1, the same as Hak-Kyoung Kim. They are co-inventors with a few more inventors on this patent.

  1. John M Ganci Jr

John M Ganci Jr is an American inventor affiliated with IBM. His patent portfolio has 223 patents filed globally which belong to 145 unique patent families. In addition, he holds 102 patents in the Instruments Technology domain.

John M Ganci Jr.’s most cited patent is US20160070439A1, the same as Sarbajit Rakshit. They are co-inventors on this patent with a few others.

  1. Craig Trim

Craig Trim is an American inventor with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer and Information Sciences from Cal Poly Pomona and a Master of Science, MS, Data Analytics from Capella University.

Source – TheOrg

He is currently with Causality Link as a Senior Engineer. His past experiences include being at IBM as a Lead Data Scientist and Dristi as a CTO.

Trim’s patent portfolio consists of 223 patents in the AI domain, belonging to 144 unique patent families. In addition, he holds 116 patents in the Instruments Technology domain. 

Craig’s most cited patent is US20160070439A1. Craig is a co-inventor on this with Sarbajit Rakshit, John Gangci, and a few others.

  1. Corville O Allen

Corville Allen is an American inventor with a degree in Computer Science, Mathematics from Lona College. He has 17 years of experience in Enterprise Software Development, including web-based software, Application Server infrastructure, Business Application Integration, and Cognitive Systems. He is a Senior Technical Staff Member and Master Inventor, a 5-time North Carolina Inventor of the Year at IBM. 

Source: IBM News Room

His specialties include Application Integration, API Development, Agile Methodologies, SDLC, WebSphere, Connectivity, and Architecture.

His patent portfolio consists of 232 patents belonging to 142 unique patent families. In addition, he holds 120 patents in the domain of Instruments Technology.

Allen’s most valuable patent is US9369488B2 – Policy enforcement using natural language processing. The said patent family has been cited 119 times by the company Onetrust Llc. The patent’s geographical coverage extends to the United States and China.

The core idea of the patent is to automatically identify if the user is violating the “terms of use” policy for devices like computers. For example, the user may attempt to use the device camera to photograph an object within a physical location governed by the term of the use policy document. Based on the procedure disclosed in the patent, the user’s computing device may take appropriate action, e.g., policy enforcement, restricting or disabling functionality, alerting or warning the user to non-compliance, or the like.

  1. Martin G Keen

Martin Keen is an American inventor with a degree in Computer Science from Southampton Solent University. He has been associated with IBM as a Technical Content Creation Leader & Video Production Leader.

Source: The Marketplace Podcast

Martin is an IBM Master Inventor and was conferred the Honorary award in 2016 by IBM. He holds over 200 patent applications, specializing in big data, cognitive systems, mobile devices, and predictive analytics. In addition, Martin is a Technical Content Creator Leader, including developing dozens of published books. He is also a Videographer and Video Production Lead specializing in corporate video creation and online learning course development. 

His patent portfolio has 201 globally filed globally belonging to 138 unique patent families. In addition, he holds 90 patents in the domain of Instruments Technology. 

The most valuable patent in Martin Keen’s portfolio is US9473819B1 – Event pop-ups for video selection. The patent family has been cited 16 times by companies IBM, Sony Interactive Entertainment Llc, Amazon Tech Inc, and Dish Network Llc.

Source – US9473819B1

  1. Jeremy Fox

Jeremy Fox is an American inventor with a BBA, Computer Information System degree from the University of Texas at El Paso. He has been associated with IBM since 2001. As a result, he has been accorded the title of Master Inventor at IBM. 

Jeremy has also served as the IBM Commerce IDT Chair for over three years.

His patent portfolio consists of 128 patents in AI globally, belonging to 110 unique patent families. In addition, 68 patents have been filed in Instruments Technology. 

The most valuable patent in Jeremy Fox’s portfolio is US9826500B1 – Preventing driver distraction from incoming notifications – cited 8 times by Nocell Technologies Llc.

Source – MyPolice #LeaveThePhoneAlone

Don’t we agree – those smartphone notifications while driving can be dangerously distractive? Jeremy Fox’s thought process behind this patent is quite appreciable. His ingenious idea to adjust the intensity of notification alerts based on the driving conditions is remarkable. For example: changing a loud beep to just a vibration alert for a particular type of notification. A few examples of conditions include driving:

  • in fair/poor/good weather
  • during day/night
  • familiar/unfamiliar route
  1. Yasuaki Yamagishi

Yasuaki Yamagishi is a Japanese inventor currently Senior Research Scientist at Sony Corporation.

His patent portfolio consists of 614 patents belonging to 104 unique patent families. In addition, he has 99 patents in the domain of Electronics Communication Techniques.

His patent US10178148B2 – Content supply device, content supply method, program, and content supply system – is his most cited (13 times), by Sony Corporation, Saturn Licensing LLC. The patent’s geographical coverage extends to the United States, Brazil, India, China, and Russian Federation.

  1. Joydeep Ray

Joydeep Ray is an American inventor with a master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. He is a Graphics Architect at Intel Corporation. He has previously been associated with AMD as an MTS Design Engineer, Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation as a Technical Representative in CPU Sub-committee, Carnegie Mellon University as a Research Assistant, and IBM as a Design Engineer.

Ray’s patent portfolio has 293 patents in the Artificial Intelligence domain globally, belonging to 84 unique patent families. In addition, 77 inventions are related to instruments belonging to the Instruments Technology domain. 

His patent US10108850B1 – Recognition, reidentification, and security enhancements using autonomous machines – is his most valuable. It has been cited 10 times and has geographical coverage in the United States and China. 

Let’s Sum it Up

It was interesting to note that most inventors among the top 20 AI inventors across the globe are Korean. 12 out of 20 are either working at StradVision or have worked at StradVision in the past. It’s intriguing to know what StradVision is up to. There is a commonality in many of these inventors’ most cited patents. It’s the object recognition in a video.

InventorCountry of OriginPresent Place of WorkPast Places of Work
Sarbajit RakshitIndianIBMN/A
Wooju RyuKoreanStradVision Inc.Intel, Olaworks, Samsung
Woonhyun NamKoreanStradVision Inc. N/A
Hongmo JeKoreanStradVision Inc.Intel, Olaworks
Donghun YeoKoreanHana Institute of TechnologyStradVision Inc.
Myungchul SungKoreanStradVision Inc.N/A
Yong-Joong KimKoreanStradVision Inc. N/A
Taewoong JangKoreanCoinoneStradVision Inc.
Kyungjoong JeongKoreanStradVision Inc. Samsung Techwin
Hojin ChoKoreanStradVision Inc. N/A
Sukhoon BooKoreanStradVision Inc. N/A
Hak-Kyoung KimKoreanStradvision Inc.N/A
Kye-Hyeon KimKoreanSuperb AI Inc. StradVision, SK Telecom, Intel and Samsung
John M Ganci JrAmericanIBMN/A
Craig TrimAmericanCausality LinkIBM, dristi
Corville O AllenAmericanIBMN/A
Martin G KeenAmericanIBMN/A
Jeremy FoxAmericanIBMN/A
Yasuki YamagishiJapaneseSony CorporationN/A
Joydeep RayAmericanIntel CorporationAdvanced Micro Devices Inc., IBM

What kindled your interest in this article? Are you currently working on any AI projects?

Since you were interested in this article, we wish to share an AI-based initiative. It’s called Patent Quality through Artificial Intelligence. The initiative is focused on inventors, and the core value that drives the initiative is “Prior Art Search for Everyone.” At PQAI, we studied patent rejection stats. We observed that most patents receive 102/103 type rejections. This means the invention described in the patent is either not new or obvious based on a combination of one or more previous inventions/literature. Unfortunately, many inventors apply for patents without a thorough prior art search. Usually, this is because there is a lack of budget or patent searching skills. Also, it’s challenging to search for non-patent literature while performing a prior art search. These reasons triggered an urge to develop an inventor-friendly prior art search engine. And what better than AI to turn to for help?

If you feel the pain inventors go through on receiving a patent rejection, we urge you to join the initiative and contribute the best way only you can!

Women’s History Month: Honoring 15 Ingenious Female Inventors

Necessity is the mother of invention.


On May 5, 1809, Ms. Mary Dixon Kies became the first woman to receive a patent in the United States of America for her technique of weaving straw with silk. Women, from time immemorial, have been innovating and making breakthroughs in the technological world. From windshield wipers to coffee filter paper, women have contributed significantly with their inventions to make this world a better place.

March is observed as the women’s history month to reflect on the often-overlooked contributions of women in history. To mark women’s history month, we honor the contributions of these 15 female inventors who have been driving innovation.

#1. Catia Bastioli

Ms. Catia Bastioli is an Italian inventor, chemist, researcher, and entrepreneur. She holds a degree in pure chemistry from the University of Perugia, Italy. Ms. Bastioli also attended the School of Business Administration (“Alti Potenziali Montedison”) at the Bocconi University in Milan. Ms. Bastioli is the CEO of Novamont S.p.A. She is also the president of Terna Spa of the Kyoto Club Association and the Italian Technological Cluster of Green Chemistry SPRING and a member of the Board of Directors of Fondazione Cariplo. 

Awards & Honors:

  • European Inventor of the Year Award in 2007 in the category “SMEs/research”
  • Honoris Causa Degree in Industrial Chemistry (2008, University of Genoa)
  • Honorary title of Knighthood (“Cavaliere dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana”), 2013
  • Honoris Causa Degree in Materials Engineering (2016, University of Palermo) 
  • Appointed as “Cavaliere del Lavoro” by the President of the Italian Republic in 2017
  • Honoris Causa Degree in Business Economics (2018, University of Foggia)
  • Honorary Doctoral Degree in Civil, Chemical, Environmental, and Materials Engineering (2019, University of Bologna)

Her most valuable patent is US5412005A for biodegradable polymeric compositions based on starch and thermoplastic polymers. 

15 Ingenious Female Inventors - Catia Bastioli

Source – EPO

Ms. Bastioli’s patent portfolio has 1291 patents globally which belong to 186 unique patent families. She is an individual inventor of 4 and a co-inventor in the rest of the 182 core patents. 

#2. Esther Sans Takeuchi

Dr. Esther Sans Takeuchi is an American inventor. She completed her graduation from the University of Pennsylvania. She completed her Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Ohio State University under the direction of Dr. Harold Shechter in 1981. She has been a Professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo since September 2007. Before this, she worked with Electrochem as a Chief Scientist and at Greatbatch Inc. for more than two decades as a Director of Research & Development. 

She has also served as a postdoctoral research associate in electrochemistry, first at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1982 to 1983 and then at the State University of New York at Buffalo from 1983 to 1984.

Dr. Takeuchi is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering. After 40 years in industry and academia, she continues to work at the forefront of battery technology innovation

Awards & Honors:

  • National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2010 awarded by President Obama
  • European Inventor Award in 2018

The most valuable patent in Ms. Takeuchi’s portfolio is US4964877A for a non-aqueous lithium battery. 


Dr.Esther Sans Takeuchi

Source – EPO

Ms. Takeuchi has 584 patents globally which belong to 153 unique patent families in her patent portfolio. She is an individual inventor of 5 and a co-inventor in the rest of the 148 core patents.

#3. Joy Mangano

Ms. Joy Mangano is an American inventor and entrepreneur. She was the president of Ingenious Designs LLC. In addition, she completed her graduation in business administration from Pace University.

In 1990 after growing frustrated with ordinary mops, Ms. Mangano developed her first invention, the Miracle Mop. It is a self-wringing plastic mop with a head made from a continuous loop of 300 feet (90 meters) of cotton that can be easily wrung out without getting the user’s hands wet. David O. Russell directed an Oscar-nominated movie based on her life, Joy. Ms. Mangano has also written a best-selling book, Inventing Joy, for those who want to build a brave and creative life.

Female Inventors - Joy Mangano - Self Wringing Mop

Source – The Inc

Awards & Honors:

  • Named the Long Island Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young in 1997
  • Ranked number 77 on Fast Company’s list of the 100 Most Creative People in Business in 2009
  • Included in Fast Company’s list of the 10 Most Creative Women in Business in 2010

The most valuable patent in Ms. Mangano’s portfolio is US5722260A for reversible jewelry clasp for necklaces and/or bracelets. 

Source – US Patent – 5722260A
Source – PurePearls

Ms. Mangano’s patent portfolio consists of 121 patents globally which belong to 68 unique patent families. She is an individual inventor of 55 and a co-inventor in the rest of the 13 core patents. 

#4. Helen Lee

Dr. Helen Lee is a medical researcher. She obtained her Ph.D. in biology, microbiology, and parasitology from Cornell University. Dr. Lee is the Associate Professor in Medical Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge. She is also the President and CEO of Diagnostics for the Real World Ltd (DRW), Sunnyvale, USA, and its wholly-owned subsidiary, DRW-Europe, Cambridge, UK. She worked with Abbott Laboratories from 1991 to 1995 as a General Manager for the Probe Diagnostics Business Unit.

Awards & Honors:

  • National Honor Society of Sigma Xi, 1967
  • Who’s Who of American Men in Science, 1970
  • The Entrepreneurial Award (Abbott Laboratories), 1988
  • The Phoenix Award (Abbott Laboratories), 1991
  • Finalist, YWCA Women of Achievement Award, 1994
  • Best Diagnostic Innovation Award (Medical Futures Innovation Competition), 2003
  • Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran Award (British Foundation for Science & Technology), 2005 
  • British Female Inventor in Industry Award, 2006
  • European Women of Achievement Award 2006
  • Asian Women of Achievement Award, 2007
  • Tech Museum of Innovation Award, 2007 
  • European Inventor Award, 2016
  • Appointed as a judge for the European Inventor Award, 2019
  • Recognized on the Times’ Science Power List in May 2020 

Her invention, the diagnostic kit SAMBA II is being repurposed for use in COVID-19 testing. The most valuable patent in Ms. Lee’s portfolio is US6521747B2 for haplotypes of the AGTR1 gene. 

SAMBA by Helen Lee

Source – EPO

Dr. Lee has 168 patents globally which belong to 37 unique patent families in her patent portfolio. She is an individual inventor of 4 and a co-inventor in the rest of the 33 core patents.

#5. Ann Lambrechts

Ms. Ann Lambrechts is a Belgian inventor. She works with NV Bekaert SA as a global sales and product manager. Before this, she worked as the head of R&D for Building Products at Bekaert.

  • Winner of the European Inventor Award, 2011 in the category “Industry”
Female Inventors - Ann Lambrechts

Source – EPO

Her invention of mixing steel wire elements into concrete has improved the stability of structures where it is used and reduced building costs—this invention, which is patent no. US6235108B1 is the most valuable patent in her portfolio. In addition, her invention increases the bending tensile strength of concrete by 32%, enabling more pioneering projects to be built.

Ms. Lambrecht’s patent portfolio has 232 patents globally, which belong to 28 unique patent families. She is an individual inventor of 10 and a co-inventor in the remaining 18 core patents.

#6. Ursula Keller

Dr. Ursula Keller is a Swiss inventor. She obtained her Ph.D. in engineering physics/applied physics from Stanford University.

Dr. Keller joined ETH Zurich as a professor of physics in 1993, where she led the Ultrafast Laser Physics group. She currently serves as a director of the NCCR MUST (Molecular Ultrafast Science and Technology), an interdisciplinary research program supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, bringing together 15 Swiss research groups in ultrafast physics and chemistry. She has published more than 330 peer-reviewed journal papers and 11 book chapters.

Awards & Honors:

  • Weizmann Women and Science Award, 2017
  • European Inventor Award, 2018 for laser technology in the category “lifetime achievement”
  • IEEE  (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Photonics Award, 2018
  • IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Edison Medal, 2019 
  • SPIE (the international society for optics and photonics) Gold Medal, 2020

The most valuable patent in Dr. Keller’s portfolio is US6834064B1 for the semiconductor saturable-absorber mirror technology used in mode-locking ultrafast solid-state laser systems. 

Source – EPO

She has 80 patents globally which belong to 22 unique patent families in her patent portfolio. She is an individual inventor of 2 and a co-inventor in the rest 20 core patents. 

#7. Christine Van Broeckhoven

Dr. Christine Van Broeckhoven is a Belgian inventor. She completed her Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Antwerp. Ms. Broeckhoven has been a Molecular Biology and Genetics Professor at the University of Antwerp since 1995. 

Since 1983 she has had her laboratory for molecular genetics at the University of Antwerp, and since 2005 is focussing her research on neurodegenerative brain diseases. She is an associate editor of the scientific journal Genes, Brain, and Behavior.

Dr. Broeckhoven has over 35 years of experience in molecular genetics research of neurodegenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, frontotemporal lobar degeneration, amyothrophic lateral sclerosis, lewy bodies disorders, and Parkinson’s disease.

Awards & Honors:

  • Belgian Quinquennial Prize of the Belgian National Science Foundation 
  • Potamkin Prize (The Potamkin Prize for Research in Pick’s, Alzheimer’s, and Related Diseases), 
  • The Arkprijs van het Vrije Woord 
  • European Inventor Award 2011.

The most valuable patent in Dr. Broeckhoven’s portfolio is EP561087B1 for a mutated form of the beta-amyloid precursor protein gene. 

Source –

Her patent portfolio has 77 patents globally which belong to 20 unique patent families.

#8. Margarita Salas

Late Dr. Margarita Salas (November 30, 1938 – November 7, 2019) was a Spanish inventor. Margarita had graduated from the Complutense University of Madrid with a BA in chemistry and obtained a Ph.D. in 1963. She started her career in the US-based laboratory of Nobel-prize winner Severo Ochoa. She returned to her native Spain in 1967 to establish the country’s first research group in molecular genetics.

Dr. Salas led the breakthroughs that have since made DNA testing fast, reliable, and used in many applications.

Awards & Honors:

  • Carlos J. Finlay Prize, UNESCO, 1991
  • Medal of Principality of Asturias, 1997
  • National Research Award Santiago Ramon y Cajal, 1999
  • L’Oreal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science, 2000
  • Selected among the 100 women of the twentieth century that paved the way for equality in the XXI Century by the Council of Women of the Community of Madrid, 2001
  • Isabel Ferrer Award of the Generalitat Valenciana, 2002
  • Gold Medal of the Community of Madrid, 2002
  • Grand Cross of the Civil Order of Alfonso X, the Wise, 2003
  • International Prize for Science and Research Cristóbal Gabarrón Foundation, 2004
  • Gold Medal for Merit in Work, 2005
  • Medal of Honor of the Complutense University of Madrid, 2005
  • Award of Excellence granted by FEDEPE (Spanish Federation of Women Directors, Executives, Professionals, and Entrepreneurs), 2006
  • First Spanish woman to become a member of the National Academy of Science (United States), 2007
  • Gold Medal of the College of Veterinarians of the Principality of Asturias, 2009
  • Title of Honorary Ambassador of the Spain Brand, category of Science and Innovation, which fails Leading Brands of Spanish Forum with the approval of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, 2009
  • Women Leader Award, awarded by the Rafael del Pino, Aliter and Merck Foundation, 2009
  • Award “An entire professional life” of the Mapfre Foundation, 2009
  • Chemistry Excellence Award, awarded by the General Council of Associations of Chemists of Spain, 2014
  • Medalla Echegaray, the highest award from the Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences, 2016
  • ManchaArte Award 2018, 2018
  • European Inventor Award Lifetime Achievement Award and Audience Award by European Patent Office, 2019

The most valuable patent in Dr. Salas’s portfolio is US5198543A for an improved method for determining the nucleotide base sequence of a DNA molecule. 

Source – The Conversation

Her patent portfolio has 80 patents globally which belong to 19 unique patent families.

#9. Marissa Mayer

Ms. Marissa Mayer is an American inventor. Marissa studied symbolic systems and computer science with an emphasis on artificial intelligence, receiving a BS degree in 1997 and an MS degree in 1999 at Stanford University. She is the co-founder of Sunshine Contacts. She has worked with some of the major corporate giants like Walmart, Yahoo, and Google. Ms. Mayer designed the search interface of Google’s home page. During her tenure at Google, Ms. Mayer helped create many patented inventions related to web-browsing software, including a program that searches saved articles.

Source – Business Insider

Ms. Mayer actively invests in technology companies, including crowd-sourced design retailer Minted, live video platform, wireless power startup uBeam, online DIY community/e-commerce company Brit + Co., mobile payments processor Square, home décor site One Kings Lane, genetic testing company Natera, and nootropics and biohacking company Nootrobox.

The most valuable patent in Ms. Mayer’s portfolio is US7096214B1 for a system and method for supporting editorial opinion in ranking search results. 

Source – US7096214B1

Ms. Mayer has 63 patents globally which belong to 14 unique patent families in her patent portfolio.

#10. Annegret Matthai

Ms. Annegret Matthai is a German inventor working with Audi AG, Germany. She is involved and working on inventions related to the motor industry. The most valuable patent in her portfolio is DE102008004049A1 for a laminated glass unit for use as a windshield in a motor vehicle.

Source – DE102008004049A1

Ms. Matthai has 32 patents globally in her patent portfolio, which belong to 13 unique patent families.

#11. Ann Tsukamoto

Dr. Ann Tsukamoto is an American inventor with a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the University of California. She is a stem cell researcher who started her career with SyStemix in 1989.

With her husband, Professor Irv Weissman, as co-patentee, Dr. Tsukamoto’s patent for stem cell isolation was awarded in 1991. Their discovery gave people with blood cancer another chance at life and has since saved hundreds of thousands of lives. Her work with Stem Cells, Inc. involves isolating liver and neural stem cells as they pertain to various diseases. 

Her most recent position was executive vice president for Scientific and Strategic Alliances at StemCells, Inc. During her 18-year tenure at StemCells, Dr. Tsukamoto led the scientific team that discovered the human central nervous system stem cell (HuCNS-SC®) and a second candidate stem cell for the liver and that transitioned the human neural stem cell into early clinical development in all three components of the CNS: brain, spinal cord, and eye. The biological potential and activity of these HuCNS-SC® cells were demonstrated in some patients and reflected results seen in preclinical rodents studies. Unfortunately, the many challenges of developing a cell therapy in a small biotech firm led to the closure of StemCells, Inc., in August 2016.

She successfully invented the method to isolate blood stem cells in the body and obtained patent no. US5061620A

Source – Women@TheFrontier

This is the most valuable patent in her portfolio. Dr. Tsukamoto has 48 patents globally in her portfolio, which belong to 8 unique patent families.

#12. Laura Johanna van ‘t Veer

Dr. Laura Johanna van ‘t Veer is a Dutch Molecular Biologist and inventor of MammaPrint. Her research focuses on personalized medicine to advance patient management based on knowledge of the genetic make-up of the tumor as well as the genetic make-up of the patient. She completed her Ph.D. in oncology and cancer biology from Leiden University.

Laura has been the Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Director Applied Genomics Cancer Center at the UCSF (University of California San Francisco) since 2010. She has earlier worked with Agendia and the Netherlands Cancer Institute. Laura was also a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Medical School (HMS) from 1989 to 1991.

Award & Honors:

  • European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) LifeTime Achievement Award, 2007 
  • Second prize EU Women Innovator Award, 2014
  • European Inventor Award in the category Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, 2015
  • European CanCer Organization Clinical Research Award, 2017
  • Precision Medicine World Conference Luminary Award, 2020
  • Recognized as one of the ’32 Amazing Women Inventors’, a group of women who succeeded in fields that are overwhelmingly dominated by men

Source – EPO

The most valuable patent in Laura Johanna van ’t Veer’s portfolio is US7171311B2, for methods of assigning treatment to breast cancer patients. 

In Laura Johanna van ’t Veer’s patent portfolio, there are 40 patents globally, which belong to 8 unique patent families.

#13. Macinley Butson

Ms. Macinley Butson is an Australian inventor with a bachelor’s degree in science from the University of Wollongong. She is the founder of Passionately Curious, which provides access and opportunity to STEM, sparking curiosity for a generation of young minds. Before starting Passionately Curious, Ms. Butson worked with Scilutions Pty Ltd as a Director.

She is notable as the youngest female inventor and scientist. She came up with her first invention at the age of 6. Ms. Butson has received numerous awards and honors as an inventor.

Awards & Honors:

  • Marie Claire + Bumble Glass Ceiling Awards, 2019 – The Future Shaper award winner
  • Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize Winner, 2019
  • Instyle and Audi Women of Style Awards Judges Choice Winner, 2019 
  • Instyle and Audi Women of Style Next-Gen Innovator (Science) Award Winner, 2019 
  • Ozwater ’19 Keynote Speaker
  • TedXYouth@ScotchCollegeAdelaide Speaker
  • AFR 100 Woman of Influence Finalist
  • 1st place Award at Intel International Science & Engineering Fair
  • 3rd place in Environmental Engineering at Intel International Science & Engineering Fair
  • NSW Young Australian of the Year, 2018
  • Event Speaker for TedxYouth@Sydney
  • 1st Place in Translational Medicine at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair
  • Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize Winner
  • 4th Place in Energy: Physical at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair
  • 1st Place at the BHP Billiton Foundation Science and Engineering Awards

Ms. Butson’s patent portfolio has six patents globally, all belonging to unique patent families. She is an individual inventor of all six core patents. She invented an ultraviolet radiation sticker that measures the solar UV exposure required to sanitize drinking water and a smart shield to protect women undergoing radiotherapy against excess radiation.

 Source – Good News Network

#14. Patricia Billings

Ms. Patricia Billings is an American inventor and businesswoman. She completed her study in Arts at Amarillo College in Texas. Her detour from art into technology came in the late 1970s when a swan sculpture fell and shattered after months of work. Ms. Billings, who knew that Michelangelo and other Renaissance sculptors used a cement additive to give their plaster longevity, set out to create a modern equivalent.

Her specialty was plaster of Paris sculptures, and Ms. Billings filed several patents for building materials, including modular wall panels and roofing tiles.

The most valuable patent in Ms. Billings’s portfolio is US5647180A for a fire-resistant building panel marketed by the name Geobond®. 

Geobond® products are so resistant to heat that it remains lukewarm after being torched with a 2,000°F flame for four hours.

Source – Inventricity

Ms. Billings, in her patent portfolio, has eight patents globally, which belong to 5 unique patent families.

#15. Lynn Ann Conway

Ms. Lynn Ann Conway is an American inventor. After earning her BS and MSEE from Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, Ms. Conway joined IBM Research. There she made foundational contributions to computer architecture, including the invention of multiple-out-of-order dynamic instruction scheduling. Fired by IBM as she underwent gender transition in 1968, Ms. Conway secretly started her career over again in stealth mode, soon becoming a computer architect at Memorex. She has also worked at MIT as a Vis. Assoc. Professor of EECS, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, and DAPRA. She is an Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Professor at the University of Michigan.

Her specialties are computer science, systems architecture, electrical engineering, microelectronic design, research management, engineering education, and human rights advocacy.

Awards & Honors:

  • Electronics 1981 Award for Achievement
  • Harold Pender Award of the Moore School, University of Pennsylvania
  • IEEE EAB Major Educational Innovation Award, 1984
  • Fellow of the IEEE, 1985, “for contributions to VLSI technology”
  • John Price Wetherill Medal of the Franklin Institute, with Carver Mead, 1985
  • Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award, 1985
  • Member of the National Academy of Engineering, 1989
  • National Achievement Award, Society of Women Engineers, 1990
  • Presidential Appointment to the United States Air Force Academy Board of Visitors, 1996
  • Honorary Doctorate, Trinity College, 1998
  • Electronic Design Hall of Fame, 2002
  • Engineer of the Year, National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals, 2005
  • Computer Pioneer Award, IEEE Computer Society, 2009
  • Fellow Award, Computer History Museum, 2014
  • Honorary Doctorate, Illinois Institute of Technology, 2014
  • IEEE/RSE James Clerk Maxwell Medal, 2015
  • Honorary Doctorate, University of Victoria
  • Fellow Award, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2016
  • Honorary Doctorate and Commencement Address, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2018
  • Pioneer in Tech Award, National Center for Women in Technology (NCWIT), 2019
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, IBM Corporation, 2020

Source – Michigan AI Lab – University of Michigan

The most valuable patent in Ms. Conway’s portfolio is US5652849A for an apparatus and method for remote control using a visual information stream. 

In Ms. Conway’s patent portfolio, there are five patents globally, which belong to 5 unique patent families. 


These are some female inventors from numerous women who have contributed to the world of innovation. These women are an inspiration for young girls around the world. Women continue to disrupt the patent industry and make life easier with their inventions. We at PQAI salute and celebrate all the female inventors around the world.

Exclusive Interview with Sam Zellner | Inventor Spotlight

Exclusive Interview with Sam Zellner

Mr A: Core innovation happens when we stop believing in the societal norms of accepting ‘that’s how it works’. 

Sam Zellner: “The corollary to this is believing long-held assumptions can’t change. For example, Ken Olsen, CEO of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), said in 1977, ‘there is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.’ The challenge for all of us is realizing when a basic assumption is no longer true. The funny thing is it’s always obvious later on!

Who is Sam Zellner?

Samuel N Zellner is a prolific American inventor with over 200 issued and pending patents worldwide. He has held many prestigious positions in innovation and intellectual property domains. At AT&T, Sam created state-of-the-art platforms utilizing Artificial Intelligence (AI). He also developed new approaches in advanced big data concepts to develop high-value patent portfolios and monetize these Intellectual Property (IP) assets.

Sam currently leads a not-for-profit open-source initiative to create a library of advanced AI-powered tools called PQAI to accelerate innovation and improve patent quality. PQAI stands for Patent Quality through Artificial Intelligence. Sam Zellner is also the founder and CEO of InspireIP, an invention disclosure system that makes invention management easy for organizations to help them reach their true innovation potential.

Sam is a board member on a number of the state IP Alliances as well as the newly formed US Intellectual Property Alliance. He received recognition as Iam 300 Top Strategist 2019. He is experienced in planning and strategizing in high-tech. Sam was also on the Licensing Executive Society (LES) board of directors, Atlanta chapter, from January 2018 to December 2019. 

Exclusive Interview With Sam Zellner

We asked some questions from Sam Zellner, and through his experience, he has provided some brilliant insights for inventors and patent portfolio managers.

#1. What challenges do you face in your daily life as an inventor?

My big joke is that the inventors are some of the loneliest people as they cannot find support for their ideas. As an inventor, you come up with an idea, and if you present your idea to someone, they tend to discount it as being bizarre or incorrect.

For example, long ago, when inventors were thinking about putting cameras on cell phones, everybody was like, why would we put cameras on cell phones? Data transmission was expensive, cell phones could not hold much data, and it seemed like a crazy idea at the time. It is hard for an inventor to share ideas with others, as inventors typically base their inventions on the assumption sets different from the accepted norms. Battery technology will improve (think electric cars), people will change their behavior (think buying online), and laws will change (think Uber and taxi licenses). The unimaginable is why most people can’t see or accept inventors’ visions. Later on, when hopefully the idea is adopted, everyone’s lenses look at the concept with the new assumption set will say that either ‘I was also thinking of this idea back then’ or that ‘it was obvious’. It is hard as an inventor to get credit. With the patent system, the inventor gets some credit as they are recognized with the patent. 

Generally, it’s a lonely life as an inventor, a tough life because people rarely acknowledge that you have a good idea. Rarely do you get recognized as doing something novel; rather, you are recognized as crazy, which is the typical thought process.

#2. Are you part of any inventor groups or communities?

I am not aware of a lot of communities. Maybe, the individual inventors are a part of some communities. My experience with corporate inventors is that they tend to talk to their associates, but I am unfamiliar with the corporate inventors being part of a specific group. You might check with the inventors’ association to see if there are any particular groups they are pushing towards. I think in Atlanta, some incubators have fairly popular events. Tech Village in Atlanta is one.

#3. What motivates you to invent?

As many say, engineers like solving problems; I think it’s a mixture of curiosity and wanting to solve problems. Patents are about solving problems, so it comes naturally that way. I look at problems and try to think of how to solve them.

#4. When do the best ideas occur to you?

I think most people say that when you are in the shower. On the contrary, I think typically, as I said, it’s about solving problems, so the best ideas come a few hours after you see a problem or run into a problem. As they say, your mind is thinking about a problem; to solve it, sometimes all you need to do is let the subconscious help you. Because unfortunately, the assumptions that most of us go around with are so strong that it’s hard to see past those assumptions. Particularly what are called the ‘old assumptions’ – assumptions that might have been good a year ago but now because of new technologies, change in economic factors or regulatory landscape, or something in the environment. Now the old assumption that – ‘we can’t do this,’ is probably no longer valid. So when you think of assumptions as walls, just moving those walls away opens up a whole gamut of opportunities.

It reminds me of location services; I did a lot of patents around location services.

Earlier, we had no real in-location services capability, and then GPS came. GPS led to the enhancements with cellular, allowing us to do location for 911. The general thinking of the people was that ‘I don’t know where somebody is when they call when they are using a phone,’ and then suddenly, anybody could find out where exactly the caller is.

So as an inventor, you feel intrigued to brainstorm what else can such a service be useful for.

What came to my mind at that time was that the cellular network moves with me. It knows when I leave the house, it can see me driving my car and track my location in real-time. Now, if there was a way to change the thermostat in my house while I am fifteen minutes away from home, I could save so much energy. Since it’s sweltering in Atlanta, whenever I used to leave the house, I always left the air conditioning on to keep the house cool. It always bothered me as it was a considerable waste of power. So this was a simple example; once we realize that we can use location to control things, it opens up all kinds of opportunities.

Another thought was now that the cellular network could see me arriving in a city, if there’s a hotel in that city, it can automatically register me for the hotel because it can see that I am coming for my hotel room. So it’s fantastic; once I start realizing and accepting that I can know where people are, I can now make some assumptions about what should be done based on where I am. So that’s what I mean about the whole idea of changing assumptions and opening up more opportunities.

#5. Is there a systematic approach to coming up with innovations? 

There are a lot of techniques out there; it depends on the person’s choice of what approach works well. There are two parts to this; one is getting the seed idea, and the other is extending it. So the hard part is getting the seed idea and finding a significant problem that hasn’t been solved well. I usually go through the assumptions I make about the problem and test each to see if it’s true.

The other piece I see many people do is that they tend to get fixated on one solution to a problem. They don’t generalize it because, again, think about it, the patent is looking into the future. As an inventor, you are trying to throw a solution into the future, and it’s tough to know how the world will change. So you would want to expand your idea. Moreover, you don’t know what other people have done.

That’s one of the reasons why PQAI is so helpful. When you run your idea through PQAI search engine, you can see where the thinking is and how you can modify your idea based on that. As an inventor, you might find out that people have already thought about your idea, so you might want to think about the next generation of the idea. Maybe there are some aspects of using location to control something, what would come next, and where else you might apply this knowledge of the live location. What about using location to provide package delivery notifications?

When you get a seed idea for an invention, try to generalize it. I think of generalizing it to the point that it’s no longer novel. It gets so broad that you’ll run into the wall that says, it sounds familiar, or that’s already been done. In any case, it helps you, particularly in the patent, because, as you know, with a patent, you have your initial claim, and then you have your dependent claims. Thus, generalization expands your idea. Like again in the example of location services and controlling the thermostat, you might generalize it from controlling a thermostat to controlling a device. You might also define control as turning on and off instead of adjusting. You might also think of using the control for multiple devices. So generalization helps to broaden your idea in case some prior art is already there; you can find your segment while running your ideas through prior art search tools like PQAI.

#6. What was your first invention, and when did you come up with it?

Aah! the first invention, well, I didn’t go anywhere with that, but I tried. I had two ideas; I came up with the first one in 1983. I wanted to create a phone ringer that would play tunes for landline phones. My interest was particularly in the fight songs in colleges as tunes. For example, I attended school at Northwestern University. Like most universities, they have a big marching band and their own fight song. And I thought that, wow, all the alums would love to have their phones ring their school’s fight song. At the time, there were no cell phones, and landline phones did not have any tunes playing; they were just standard ringers. So I was trying to put together the electronics around it, but unfortunately, I could not quite get it together. 

The other idea, which sounded crazy back then, was putting TVs in an elevator. I used to work in a high-rise building back then. I just noticed how much time people spend in the elevator and how uncomfortable people are in the elevator. So then, I thought, wow, if you could put a TV in there and show some news or something, that would be welcome since people are looking around uncomfortably in the elevator. I actually talked to the city of Chicago elevator commission about putting TVs in the elevators, and they thought I was crazy. Now the ironic thing is, I haven’t seen that many, but there are a few TVs in the elevators, but you see TVs in public places. It is one of the examples where I should have been thinking broadly because now you see TVs at the airport, gas stations, pumps, and in many different places. It goes back to thinking broadly because sometimes your initial use case is not the most important use case.

#7. What shall be your advice for budding inventors?

Run your idea through PQAI to learn how other inventors have tried to solve the problem. Keep an open mind. Avoid getting stuck on your one use case. Share your idea with people and get feedback, obviously in a way that it is protected but maybe after your provisional application. You can also discuss the idea with your close friends to get a sense of how people are reacting to your idea. It will often give clues as to where you are a little off in your idea. In my experience, I have rarely seen people hit it right with their initial idea. People are in the right area and have the right basic building blocks, but it needs to be adjusted somehow. My advice is to be open and listen carefully to people’s reactions, as it might give clues about where you should be going.

The other thing is that inventing is very hard. So don’t be discouraged if your first idea might not be novel. It is very challenging; you are competing against all the inventors in the world. That’s very tough, so don’t get discouraged.

#8. How was your experience as an inventor at AT&T?

My experience at AT&T was excellent. AT&T has a very energetic, creative environment and brilliant people. We could talk about new ideas, and people were very open to them. In addition, we were working with many cutting-edge technologies at AT&T, so I found it very easy to develop new ideas in that environment.

#9. What tips would you like to give a patent portfolio manager?

Again, one needs to be broad to have an effective patent. So I would want to encourage the patent portfolio managers to ensure the patent is broad enough so that the patent is still relevant as the future unfolds. I think doing some prior art searching helps to broaden your patent. Prior art searching gives you a sense of how other people think about the idea. Then you can see how your idea relates to those thoughts, which usually generates more use cases and thoughts about how to broaden the patent and where novelty exists.

I would encourage the patent portfolio managers to do some prior art searching, and that’s where PQAI provides a great opportunity, as prior art search takes a lot of time. With PQAI, you can do it very quickly. So it is a golden opportunity for patent portfolio managers to leverage it and ensure that either the ideas/inventions are new disclosures or continuations or their very best.

Sam Zellner | Patent Portfolio

The statistics and charts hereunder provide an insight into Sam’s patent portfolio, which has more than 200 issued and pending patents worldwide.

Note – Patent families represent the count of total unique patent families. Patents represent the total number of records, i.e., considering all the family members of an INPADOC (International Patent Documentation) family. The following four statistics are based on unique families count.

  • Technology Area And Patent Families Count –

Sam’s patent portfolio has 292 patents globally, which belong to 91 unique patent families. He has worked in many tech industry areas, but most of his inventions are related to electronic communication techniques and instruments. The count of inventions in this and related domains is 86.

The chart below details the areas of technology in which his patents have been filed:

Sam Zellner Patent Portfolio
  • Technology Through The Years – 

This statistic is based on Sam Zellner’s patent filings periodically, indicating how many patents are filed year by year and in which area of technology:

Sam Zellner Patent Portfolio
  • Inventions – 

Sam Zellner has patents in 91 different patent families within his patent portfolio. He is an individual inventor of 17 and a co-inventor of the rest of the 74 core patents:

Sam Zellner Patent Portfolio
  • Patent Assignment 

Sam Zellner is affiliated with AT&T Inc, putting AT&T on the top of the list of patent assignments by Sam for his inventions. However, there are names of a few other assignees in the list, in the cases where Sam’s inventions have been re-assigned by AT&T. All these patents were filed by AT&T. All the subdivisions of AT&T as AT&T Inc have been considered.

Sam Zellner Patent Portfolio

The term “Patent Counts” represents the counts of individual patents filed in various countries, irrespective of the patent family. The following statistic is based on the total number of patents in the portfolio: 

  • Patent Filing Worldwide

The following graph shows Sam Zellner’s patent filing for inventions worldwide. The majority of the patents have been filed in the United States of America. Also, there are ten patents in which the applications were filed before the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) & the European Patent Office (EPO).

Sam Zellner Patent Portfolio

A Quick Wrap Up

Sam Zellner has decades of experience as an inventor and a patent portfolio manager.

Sam’s advice to the inventors is to think broadly and expand the idea far beyond their first use case. In addition, Sam recommends that inventors keep an open mind and observe how people react to the idea when shared with them in a protected way. Finally, Sam also motivates inventors to avoid getting discouraged if their idea is not novel.

Sam encourages the patent portfolio managers and the inventors to do some prior art searching to find out how other inventors are approaching the same problem. Prior art search gives ideas to broaden the patent claims and file effective patents.

103 Type Rejection: How to avoid it on your patent application?

Avoiding 103 type rejection PQAI

PQAI helps you identify the combinational prior art that can be cited as the basis of a 103-type rejection on your patent application.

Looking forward to patenting your invention; the predicament of getting a rejection lingers around. Often, it may be possible to overcome the rejection, but it unnecessarily delays the allowance. Do you know what the most common reason for rejection is? – It’s § 103 or obviousness.

103 type rejection accounts for 46.5% of all patent rejections

Note: Stats are based on the rejections (Final + Non-Final) given by the Patent Examiners for the US applications from January 2017 to September 2020.

Stats show that 46.95% of patent rejections are because of existing combinational prior art (§103 Type). Read on if you don’t want the examiner to reject your patent application saying – “your invention is obvious in light of so and so…”

§ 103 Type Rejection | Combinational Prior Art

You receive a 103-type rejection when the examiner finds more than one document that jointly represents your invention as an obvious improvement.

Let’s say the idea is – “A drone for fighting forest fires that uses canisters filled with dry ice as fire extinguishing material.

Now if there exist two prior art documents: i) One that describes the use of aerial vehicles to fight forest fires. ii) And another that describes the use of powdered carbon-di-oxide (dry ice) to extinguish the fire. Then, our idea shall be deemed obvious.

Combinational prior art to avoid 103 type rejection

Let’s run the example through PQAI (an open-source search engine that can identify the combinational prior art) and see what happens:

103 type rejection - Combinational prior art search using PQAI

So, we ran the idea query through PQAI, and as the first combination of results, we got this:

Avoid 103 type rejection by conducting combinational prior art search using PQAI

Result snapshot from PQAI

One prior art is about fire-fighting drones, and the second describes dry-ice usage in fighting fires.

What causes § 103 type rejection?

According to USPTO, your idea should stand these tests:

  • Only one reference doesn’t need to disclose your invention holistically. An examiner can use a combination of references to relate to your idea.
  • Rather than considering the differences between the idea and the prior arts, the claimed invention as a whole shouldn’t be obvious over the referred prior art.
  • Your idea as a whole shouldn’t look obvious to a person having ordinary skills in the art (PHOSITA) over existing references during the time of invention.

In our example, the drone is a combination of 2 references that make the invention possible. The example can’t stand against these guidelines by USPTO. So, our drone is liable to get a rejection under section 103.

You might like to check the video here that shows why our fire-fighting drone with dry ice would fail the test of section 103.

How to rule out § 103 type rejection?

It might not be a bad idea to run your idea through PQAI once to look for the combinational prior art. With PQAI, we have dreamt of creating the world’s first prior art search engine that can identify combinational prior art. We have also taken the first step to realize this dream. We have developed the first version of PQAI and continuously train our AI engine to perform better. The dream we have seen cannot come true without the support of people from across the globe, especially inventors, patent professionals, NLP practitioners, patent offices, etc. In the article’s next section, we present a few cases where PQAI spotted the prior art cited by the patent examiner to give a 103-type rejection.

PQAI | Combinational Prior Art Validation Tests

Application NumberPublication NumberPriority DateAssigneeRejection DateRejection TypePublication No. Prior ArtPQAI Input
16246472US10731375B27/6/16NABORS DRILLING TECH USA INC23/4/20103US9027287B2Abstract
15866107US10696381B29/1/18THE BOEING COMPANY,CHICAGO,IL,US15/4/20103US5908174AClaim 1
16451553US10754607B226/9/18QUALCOMM INCORPORATED,SAN DIEGO,CA,US16/4/20103US6396329B1Abstract
15712616US10762997B212/10/16KOREA ATOMIC ENERGY RESEARCH INSTITUTE,DAEJEON,KR22/4/20103US20140205052A1Claim 1
14594517US10777098B112/1/15RAYLYNN PRODUCTS LLC,GROVE CITY,OH,US22/4/20103US5121745AAbstract
16123902US10778561B28/9/17BROCADE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS LLC,SAN JOSE,CA,US23/4/20103US20130266307A1Abstract

For each of the listed 6 cases let’s see how PQAI spotted one of the prior arts used by the examiner to reject the patent application.

Case#1: US10731375 – “Side saddle slingshot drilling rig”

We picked up the abstract of the subject patent application – US10731375 ran it through PQAI.

Avoid 103 type rejection by conducting combinational prior art search using PQAI

Snapshot from PQAI

PQAI spotted a US patent titled “Fast transportable drilling rig system” – US9027287B2 as one of the prior art in the resultant ten combinations.

Avoid 103 type rejection by conducting combinational prior art search using PQAI

Result snapshot from PQAI

Case#2: US10696381B2 –Hydraulic systems for shrinking landing gear

We picked up the claim for this application and ran it through PQAI. 

sidenote: When looking for prior art using PQAI for a particular patent, it’s best advised to put the invention query as (along with the priority date filter): 

  1. Abstract 
  2. Independent claims one at a time 
  3. Summary 
  4. Embodiments from specifications
Avoid 103 type rejection by conducting combinational prior art search using PQAI

Snapshot from PQAI

PQAI spotted US5908174A – “Automatic shrink shock strut for an aircraft landing gear” as one of the results in 10 combinations it presented. It’s also one of the prior arts listed by the examiner to reject the patent application.

Avoid 103 type rejection by conducting combinational prior art search using PQAI

Result snapshot from PQAI

Case#3: US10754607B2 – “Receiver and decoder for extreme low power, unterminated, multi-drop serdes”

We picked up the abstract from the patent application US10754607B2 and ran it through PQAI under the combinations (103) option.

Avoid 103 type rejection by conducting combinational prior art search using PQAI

Snapshot from PQAI

PQAI spotted one of the prior arts – US6396329B1; it’s one of the prior arts cited by the examiner to reject the patent application US10754607B2.

Case#4: US10762997B2 – “Decontamination method reducing radioactive waste”

We picked up claim 1 of the subject patent application US10762997B2 and ran it through PQAI as shown below:

Avoid 103 type rejection by conducting combinational prior art search using PQAI

Snapshot from PQAI

PQAI spotted one of the prior arts, which the examiner cited to give 103 type rejection – US20140205052A1.

Avoid 103 type rejection by conducting combinational prior art search using PQAI

Result snapshot from PQAI

Case#5  US10777098B1 – “CPR training device”

We picked up the abstract of the subject patent application – US10777098B1 and ran it through PQAI to look for the combinational prior art.

Avoid 103 type rejection by conducting combinational prior art search using PQAI

Snapshot from PQAI

PQAI spotted US5121745A – “Self-inflatable rescue mask” as one of the prior arts in one of the combinational results. It’s also one of the prior arts cited by the examiner to reject the patent application US10777098B1.

Avoid 103 type rejection by conducting combinational prior art search using PQAI

Result snapshot from PQAI

Case#6: US10778561B2 – “Diagnostic port for inter-switch and node link testing in electrical, optical and remote loopback modes” 

We picked up the abstract of US10778561B2 and ran it through PQAI with a date filter. We looked for results published before 2017-09-08.

Avoid 103 type rejection by conducting combinational prior art search using PQAI

Snapshot from PQAI

PQAI spotted US201303266307A1 as prior art in two combinations. US201303266307A1 is one of the prior arts cited by the examiner to reject the subject patent application. 

Avoid 103 type rejection by conducting combinational prior art search using PQAI

Result snapshot from PQAI
Avoid 103 type rejection by conducting combinational prior art search using PQAI

Result snapshot from PQAI

Use PQAI for Combinational Prior Art Search (103 type)

§103 type – combinational prior art is the patent office’s most common type of rejection. At PQAI, we have taken a shot at creating a prior art search engine that’s capable of spotting combinational prior art. We continuously test and improve our algorithm to perform an even better search. We propose you run your idea at least once through PQAI to look for combinational prior art before applying for a patent. All that’s needed is a few minutes of your time; who knows – PQAI may become your savior from failing at the patent office.

Happy patenting! Try PQAI now!

How to Do A Patent Search Yourself (Without Worrying About Complex Key Strings)?

Prior Art Search Made Easy With PQAI

Artificial Intelligence is changing the world around you. For example, from suggesting videos, you may like to drive cars. But can AI accompany you on your patent search spree? Let’s find out.

To Pursue or Not to Pursue? – That is the question

If you are one of the inventive types, you must have many ideas as you go about your day, as if problems are waiting for you to arrive and provide a solution. However, you also know the power and perils of ideas. Pursue the right one, and you can make a fortune; pursuing the wrong can lead to wasted effort.

So it would help if you pursued the ideas most likely to give you high returns. But how do you know in advance?

There is no simple answer to this question but a few loose rules. One is that it is better to pursue ideas that are new and never thought of before. This is important because if you market your idea, you can also get a patent. On the other hand, if your idea is not new, you won’t have exclusive access to it and may not even be able to market it.

Many inventors don’t pay sufficient attention to it. Or they assume that if an idea has not been turned into a product, they have no risk in bringing it to market. It couldn’t be farther from the truth. Only a tiny fraction of the actual ideas that have been patented are realized in the products. Therefore, it is vital to run a prior art check before you begin to pursue any idea and be sure that you would be able to patent and, thus, have exclusive rights to market it.

Patent Search | Challenges

Plenty of free resources are available for you to run a patent search. These give you access to thousands of patents. But navigating through that heap of documents is a task of days. Not just that, these search engines require you to create sophisticated search strings. Here is what a sophisticated boolean search string looks like:

The state-of-art patent search tools cater to those who know what to look for and how and where to look for them. But you are an inventor who might not have a legal background. Don’t worry, though. There is a patent search engine that understands natural language and is super easy to navigate through search results. It’s PQAI – Patent Quality Artificial Intelligence. When AI can drive cars, it can make the patent search less complex.

PQAI – An AI-Powered Patent Search Tool

When using PQAI, you don’t have to worry about keywords and search strings. You don’t have to worry about using operators to sieve your results. PQAI also helps you locate prior art without a classification search. Enter your idea into PQAI in plain English. And PQAI shall present to you only the top 10 results closest to your invention. The best part is, each result shows the relevant texts from within the document matching your query. This saves you from reading the patent documents or research papers in full detail.

It’s So Easy You Can Do It Yourself

Let’s assume that your idea is to create a lightweight, portable Bluetooth speaker with an in-built light that glows like a real flame together with your music.

Before investing time and resources into this venture, let’s check for related prior art using PQAI. Go to and enter the description of this invention in plain English. We did it for you, as shown below.

When we ran this query through PQAI, the AI algorithm curated the top ten most relevant representative results. And at the fourth position, we found a patent close to the invention in question. It’s titled – “Portable Bluetooth Camping Light.” Presented below is the snapshot of the result. It also contains a table showing query element mapping with the relevant text from the patent document.

Here are a few drawings from the patent mentioned earlier that match our invention query.

Look at the prior art shown by PQAI. The invention seems to be already patented by someone else. This means it might not be wise to pursue the idea any further.

It’s time for you to look for prior art matching your invention for real. Based on the results you receive, you can choose to modify your query. You can also save the results you like to view later. We are sure you would be surprised to see the insightful results matching your invention.

You can further modify the results by adding filters. For example, you can filter the results based on publication date, document type, and source.

How The Dataset Of PQAI looks like?

The results that PQAI curates for you are not limited to just patents. This tool gives you results that include articles, research papers, R&D, and more. PQAI’s database currently stands at 11 million US patents and applications and nearly 11.5 million research papers in the fields of engineering and computer science.

What sets this apart and allows you more time is how you consume the results you are given. The tool will provide representative results from different sectors relevant to your idea. Further, it extracts relevant snippets and maps them to different parts of your query. This saves the time you spend reviewing or analyzing an entire document to locate possible prior art

Let’s Sum It Up

PQAI has been created after mindful research and is still a work in progress. We have considered the concerns of inventors and are continuously training the AI engine to provide even better results. Easy, curated access to millions of documents and easy search navigation make this the ideal place to begin your patenting/entrepreneurial journey. Patent searches don’t need to be a chore anymore, especially for inventors like you! Happy inventing!

Can PQAI Save Inventors From Failing At The Patent Office?

How PQAI can Save Inventors From Failing At The Patent Office

Patent rejection statistics say: “The probability of failing at the patent office is much higher than that of receiving the patent.”

There are 88.6 % chances that you won’t get a patent on your invention.

“Your patent application is rejected!!” – No inventor wants to hear this!

But the hard truth is many inventors face rejection at the patent office. Either because their invention is not new or deemed obvious. The figure below shows patent rejection statistics for patent applications filed between 2017 – September 2020. 21.28% of rejections were because the invention was found non-novel or not new (102 Type). 46.95% of rejections were because the invention was found obvious due to a combination of two or more prior arts (103 Type).

Patent Rejection Statistics
Note: Stats are based on the rejections (Final + Non-Final) given by the Patent Examiners for U.S. applications from 2017 to September 2020.

Let’s Read The Inventor’s Mind


Is my idea new? Maybe.

I need to find out if someone has created a product like my invention.


Let me do a quick Google check.

…Search in progress…

After 15 minutes…

…No matching results were found!..

So cool, no one thought about it until now! Yayyyy!


Let me get a patent on my invention.

Hopefully, I can sell it for a good price $$$


Let me take some help from an I.P. community on the internet.

…after some Google search and help…

Yay! Patent application has been filed.


“Your patent application is rejected!!”

Oh No 🙁 all $$$ went to waste.

Would you apply for a patent if you knew there was an 88.6% chance you won’t get it?

Probably not. Alternatively, you would want to look for ways to succeed at the patent office! A few ways could be checking if:

  1. Something similar to your invention already exists in the market.
  2. Someone has already patented that invention.
  3. Someone has described an invention like yours in public.

You would drop the patenting idea or refine your invention with all this information.

Finding this information could be challenging. In this post, we have shared a solution that can increase your chances of success at the patent office.

Before that, let’s look at the patent office’s data about the issuance rate.

Probability Of Receiving A Patent

The other day, I came across a research paper by Yale University, What is the Probability of Receiving a U.S. Patent?, published in Yale Journal of Law and Technology in Issue 1 of 2015. 

Authors of the paper:

  • Deepak Hegde, Associate Professor of Management at Yale University, 
  • Dr. Alan Marco, Chief Economist at the USPTO, &
  • Michael Carley, Senior Data Analyst at T-Mobile.

The authors dived into the issuance rate at the USPTO.

Deepak et al. studied 2.15 million utility patent applications filed between 1996 and 2005 and examined them until June 30, 2013. The key highlight of their study is the continuous decline in allowance rate with each year. 

In 1996 about 70% of patent applications turned to a patent which by 2005 fell to 40%. 

urther, their study points out that the chances of a patent application getting granted in the first go – First-Action Allowance – is only 11.4%. In other words, there is an 88.6% chance that the examiners will reject a patent application at the USPTO.

First-Action Allowance 

You might be wondering what the first action allowance is. Don’t let the jargon bother you. The first-action allowance means the patent got granted in the first go itself.

To top it off, the situation is even worse for the inventors at small companies – companies with less than 500 employees. Their first-action allowance rate for inventors from small U.S. companies or individual inventors was only 9.3% during the period, while the inventors from large U.S. companies had a slightly better first-allowance rate of 10.7%. Their foreign counterparts fared well, however, due to a possible reason that they file only the most critical patent applications in the U.S.


Further, there is a considerable gap of 15.8% in the allowance rate between Large (75.3%) and Small corporations (59.5%) in the U.S. Another striking finding of the study is that the application filed by small inventors in the biomedical domain has bleak chances of receiving a grant.

Reasons For Rejection Of The Patent Application

One plausible reason for the high rejection rate is that inventors are unaware of the existing prior art. By prior art, we mean that an invention like yours exists. Either as a product in the market, a concept disclosed in a patent or a non-patent document. The patent rejections statistics where the popular rejection is USC 35 103 confirm this.

102 Type Rejection

The examiner gives 102 type rejections when he finds an exact prior art invalidating claims of a patent application.

Patent Rejection Statistics
Note: Stats are based on the rejections (Final + Non-Final) given by the Patent Examiners for U.S. applications from 2017 to September 2020.

103 Type Rejection

The examiner gives 103 type when he combines two or more references to prove an invention disclosed in a patent application as obvious.

Patent Rejection Statistics
Note: Stats are based on the rejections (Final + Non-Final) given by the Patent Examiners for U.S. applications from 2017 to September 2020.

Is It The Time To Rescue The Rescuer?

An increase in the number of rejections shoots up the time to get a patent and also the patent filing cost. This discourages small companies that don’t have a big budget, especially startups and individual inventors. To top it off, even if a patent is granted, its chances of making money remain slim.

One of the main reasons for the rejection is existing prior art that proves either the invention is ‘not new’ or ‘obvious.’ Hence, it’s time to equip inventors better to be successful at the patent office.

A Possible Solution

Thus, if there exists an intelligent tool capable of making an inventor aware of other solutions/references that already exist and could lead to his invention being deemed obvious or non-novel, he would be in a better position to make a go or no–go decision. In addition, he may share this detail with his attorney for a consultation, which may lead to a claim amendment before filing an application or other similar strategy.

Such an intelligent tool could have the capability to clear the cloud of uncertainty from the patent filing sky. In addition, it could facilitate well-informed data-backed patent filing strategies, which have the potential to bring down the patent prosecution cost, time, and the number of rejections.