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Cornell Engineering Alumni Inventors: Home

Pictures, names of Cornell alumni inventors and their inventions.

What is a Patent?

Patents are "the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention in the United States or importing the invention into the United States." A patent lasts 20 years and is not renewable.

  • Large percentage of technical information only accessible in patent literature.
  • There are important differences between patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets.
  • Patents can be utility (mechanical, electrical, chemical), design, or plant. Utility patents may be a process, machine, article of manufacture, composition of matter, or improvement on any of the previously mentioned.
  • Since 1995, it is possible to file "provisional patents" (have up to 1 year to finalize)

What is a Patent?

Patents are "the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention in the United States or importing the invention into the United States." A patent lasts 20 years and is not renewable.

  • Large percentage of technical information only accessible in patent literature.
  • There are important differences between patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets.
  • Patents can be utility (mechanical, electrical, chemical), design, or plant. Utility patents may be a process, machine, article of manufacture, composition of matter, or improvement on any of the previously mentioned.
  • Since 1995, it is possible to file "provisional patents" (have up to 1 year to finalize)

Cornell Engineering Alumni Inventors

Exercises:

Practice searching  Google Patents with the names of the following Cornell alumni. What are they famous for? Answers are below.

 

Jeffrey C. Hawkins (B.S. 1979, EE)

Willis Carrier (M.E., 1901) Meredith Gourdine (B.S. 1952, EP 1953), Inventor and Olympic Silver Medalist

Leroy Grumman, (M.E. 1916) was inducted into the National Inventor's Hall of Fame in 2003

Laurens Hammond, (M.E. 1916)

Wilson Greatbatch (B. E.E., 1950), inducted into the National Inventor's Hall of Fame in 1986.

Allyson D. Yarbrough (M.S. 1985, Ph.D. 1988, EE)

David M. Lederman, (Ph.D. 1966, EP)

Robert S. Langer (B.S. 1970, ChemE)

Jerry M. Woodall (Ph.D. 1982, EE)

David F. Welch (Ph.D. 1985, EE)

Thomas Midgley, Jr. (M.E., Engineering 1911)

Answers:

Jeffrey Hawkins - personal digital assistant, Founder of Palm, now Chairman, Handspring
Willis Carrier - air conditioning
Meredith Gourdine - electrogasdynamics
Leroy Grumman - retractable landing gear, folding wing.
Laurens Hammond - Hammond Organ and other electronic devices
Wilson Greatbatch - implantable cardiac pacemaker
Allyson D. Yarbrough - micromachined electronic and electromechanical systems
David M. Lederman - artificial heart, CEO Abiomed
Robert S. Langer - biomedical applications of polymers
Jerry M. Woodall - compound semiconductor materials and devices
David F. Welch - pioneer in semiconductor laser and optoelectronic technology
Thomas Midgley, Jr. - discovered freon and developed fuel additive

Engineering Librarian

Jill Powell's picture
Jill Powell
Contact:
103A Carpenter Hall
Engineering Library
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
jhp1@cornell.edu
engrref@cornell.edu
607-255-8701
Subjects:Engineering
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