Inventing is in fact a fantastic opportunity for expanding your business network. Taking myself as an example; I have had over 100 different co-inventors over my 400+ filed patent career. My co-inventors originate from at least 28 different countries; Sweden, Norway, Finland, Great Britain, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Romania, Hungary, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Pakistan, India, China, Hong Kong, Iran, Bangladesh, South Korea, Canada, USA, Venezuela, Australia and Morocco.
Furthermore, I have cooperated with more than 20 different patent engineers and, I guess, around the same number of patent attorney firms in Europe and US and even more patent attorneys.
Working as an inventor in a smaller company it might be hard to get such high diversification in co-inventors and patent engineers/attorneys, but for sure, by starting to invent, you will enhance your business network which in turn will increase the opportunities in your further professional career.
As a corporate inventor, one typically works in teams and therefore inventions may have several inventors. So, on average, how many inventors are involved in an invention? Well, this number is heavily dependent on the topic/subject, where it seems for my (by some quick Googling) to be more inventors on an invention in chemistry and medicine compared to wireless communication, my area of expertise.
But focusing on my own filed patents, the number of inventors on my patent applications span between 1 and 7, where the average is very close to 3. Furthermore, 2-4 is the most common number of co-inventors. Being the sole inventor is quite rare, and only around 10 out of 400+ I have been the only inventor. This again it shows that creating inventions is a team work, where all people in the team are open minded and help improving the initial idea originated from some first discussions to become a brilliant patentable invention.
How fast is it possible to invent? Is it possible to create one patentable invention per week, during one year? In 2007 I got a ”goal” by my manager to write one invention a week during a year.
Unfortunately, I didn’t succeed, but was close; during the 365 day period 2007-07-01 to 2008-06-30 I filed 51 patent applications. What I did to reach 51? I followed my 4 secrets on how to become a prolific inventor.
Important to note is that I should not have been able to file 51 without having colleagues and co-inventors to discuss the ideas with and (of course) without help by patent engineers and patent attorneys writing the application.
So: Is it possible to come up with one invention per week over a one year period? Yes, by working in an inspiring and innovative climate together with open minded colleagues and with good support from patent engineers and patent attorneys, and – of course – performing a lot of hard work , it is possible.
A question I often receive is; ”which was your first invention?”. Since it is the first, I have quite clear memories of it (compared to, say number filed application no 346 ?), and below I will say some word about the first one.
US 6101224 Method and apparatus for generating a linearly modulated signal using polar modulation
I started at the Research department at Ericsson Mobile Communication February 1998, as a fresh PhD graduate. At that time, only GSM was out there and data communication was made over GPRS with a maximum data rate of 9.6 kb/s. In order to increase the data rates for 2G, EDGE, enabling higher data rates in GPRS was being standardized and a new transmission method (8-PSK) was introduced in order to increase the data rate (up to over 100 kb/s).
Such new transmission method (8-PSK) has bad transmitter efficiency (high power consumption, which is a disadvantage for battery driven handheld mobile phones) compared to the modulation used in GPRS (GMSK), and encouraged by my first Manager and one of my colleagues, we developed a power efficient transmission method where one could re-use parts of the transmitter architecture optimized for GMSK modulation for 8-PSK modulation, where distortion introduced in the GMSK transmitter architecture is compensated for by modifying the amplitude component of the 8-PSK signal. The patent application was filed October 7th 1998, and first granted in US August 2000.
There are a lot of information out there on Internet about patents and the value of patents for the industry. However, I have not found so much information about how to become an inventor and the way to think in order to create patents. In this blog i will reveal some of my secrets on how to become a prolific inventor.
OK, Who am I?
I’m an independent researcher with a background in Electrical Engineering (MSc EE 1992) and Mathematical Statistics (PhD 1997), both exams from Lund University, Sweden, with around 20 years experience from research in the Wireless Communication Industry at Ericsson Research.
With more than 420 filed patent applications and around 1400 granted patents worldwide within the area of wireless communication, I think I have some experience related to patent creation that could be of interest for a wider audience.