World Facts

The World's Most Prolific Inventors

Japanese inventor Shunpei Yamazaki has over 5,000 patents.

A patent refers to exclusive rights granted to an individual who is an inventor by the state or an organization for a fixed period of time. When a patent is given to an inventor, he or she becomes the owner and can decide whether to sell, rent, or hire their invention. An invention is an idea that can either be scientific or technical in nature or consist of ways of achieving the invention. Some inventors tend to produce a large number of the inventions and in turn get more patents which creates a significant impact on the society.

The World's Most Prolific Inventors

Shunpei Yamazaki

Shunpei Yamazaki is considered to be the topmost prolific inventor in the world. At the age of 29, he had developed more than 30 inventions including his famous “Flash Memory” invention. Shunpei obtained his PhD in 1971 from Doshisha University in Japan and he has other honorary degrees. Due to his inventions, he has received several awards and also appeared in the Guinness World Records. Currently, Shunpei serves as the president of Semi-Conductor Energy Laboratory and holds most of the shareholding of the company. A total number of 5,192 patents have been granted to Shunpei making him the world’s top inventor in the world. Thin film transistors, solar cells, flash memory, liquid crystal displays, and organic light-emitting diodes are some of the inventions accredited to Shunpei.

Kia Silver Brook

Kia Silver Brook is considered to be the second most prolific inventor after Shunpei Yamazaki. Kia Silver Brook is Australian inventor, as well as a scientist and entrepreneur. At the age of 16, he dropped out of Flinders University to pursue his interest in technology. Currently, he owns several companies that develop a variety of services and goods which includes video and audio production, digital printing, MEMS devices, liquid crystal displays (LCD), and genetic analysis systems. These inventions have made him gain a total number of 4,745 patents as of 2017.

Lowell L Wood, Jr

Lowell L Wood, Jr is an American astrophysicist who is considered to be the 3rd most prolific inventors in the world. He deals mostly with the Strategic Defense Initiative and geoengineering. In 1965, he earned his PhD in geophysics from the University of California at Los Angeles. Lowell provides consultancy to Bill Gates and his foundation (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) regarding global vaccination programs. Lowell L. Wood, Jr has earned a total of 1,728 patents as of 2017.

The Impact Created By Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison is among the greatest inventors and the most prolific inventor known worldwide. He is among the world’s greatest inventors of all time, although he has now been surpassed with the number of patents to his name. He was born on February 11, 1847, and he developed different devices that have influenced lives of many people around the world, and they include phonograph and electric bulb. Edison was among the inventors to employ the principle of mass production and large-scale processes of his inventions. He is regarded as the first to create industrial research laboratory. Edison was a prolific inventor who had 1,093 patents in the US and several others in France, the United Kingdom, and Germany. One of his greatest inventions that had the most significant impact in the world is the electric light bulb, motion pictures, and sound recording power utilities. His inventions also had a significant effect on telecommunication, and include stock ticker battery and motion pictures among others.

The World's Most Prolific Inventors

RankInventor# of patents
1Shunpei Yamazaki5183
2Kia Silverbrook4745
3Lowell L. Wood, Jr.1725
4Roderick A. Hyde1595
5Kangguo Cheng1423
6Jun Koyama1325
7Gurtej Sandhu1294
8Paul Lapstun1287
9Leonard Forbes1102
10Thomas Edison1084

More in World Facts