How Successful Was Steve Jobs at Patenting His Designs and Inventions?

In 2012, a year after his death from pancreatic cancer, Steve Jobs was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Jobs was a hands-on executive, intimately involved in the details of many of the Apple products created during his lifetime, and many of those details have resulted in patents. In fact, of the 458 inventions and designs credited or co-credited to Jobs, 141 of the patent approvals have come since his death. Many of the patents are related to Apple designs, such as the look and feel of the iPhone, and not for substantial technical advances.

A legacy of innovation:

  • A multimedia exhibition called “Patents and Trademarks of Steve Jobs: Art and Technology that Changed the World” periodically tours the United States. His innovations have included the Macintosh computer, the NeXT monitor, and the Apple iPod.

  • It’s not unusual for inventors to be awarded patents after death. Jerome Lemelson, inventor of the bar code reader, received 96 patents following his death in 1997.

  • Jobs’ name is still being seen at the US Patent Office -- for a patent on the design of his 260-foot (79-m) yacht Venus, for example, and for a system that uses a tablet to steer a sea vessel.

More Info: MIT Technology Review

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