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Patent

Connect

Patent

Connect

PatentConnect
Connecting Indiana Inventors with Pro Bono Patent Assistance

Our goal is to match Indiana inventors in need of pro bono services with patent attorneys. This is a fundamental part of our overall mission to enhance Indiana’s innovation ecosystem, which is vital to the state’s economy.

PatentConnect is the designated "patent hub" for the State of Indiana. The Center for Intellectual Property Research at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law (Bloomington) operates PatentConnect. The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has assisted in creating patent hubs across the country for the benefit of early-stage entrepreneurs.

If you are an Indiana inventor interested in the services of PatentConnect or a patent attorney interested in volunteering, click the appropriate icon below.

Patenting in Indiana

To understand how the state of Indiana's rate of patent acquisition fares, below we've included some stats from last year. Moving forward, we hope you will join us to help increase these numbers by improving access to the patent system for local inventors.

  • Share

    Total Patents

    2014 Patents Granted to Indiana Inventors versus Other States

    State Rank

    Total Patents

    2014 Patents Granted to Indiana Inventors versus Other States

    State Rank

    Per Capita

    Adjusted Rank by State Population for 2014 Patents Granted

  • Utility

    Patents

    Total Number of Patents Granted to Indiana Inventors in 2014

    Design

    Patents

    Total Number of Patents Granted to Indiana Inventors in 2014

    Plant

    Patents

    Total Number of Patents Granted to Indiana Inventors in 2014

  • Rank

    Indiana

    Total Patents Granted to Indiana Inventors in 2014 Versus Other States

    Kentucky

    Kentucky

    Michigan

    Michigan

    Illinois

    Illinois

    Ohio

    Ohio


A Rich History

While the state of Indiana is not as well represented within the patent system as it once was, our history is loaded with success stories. Below we've highlighted a few of our favorites.

1862
Gattling Gun

Gatling Gun

In 1861, Indianapolis resident Richard Gatling invented the precursor to the modern machine gun, commonly known as the “Gatling Gun.” The Gatling Gun was developed by Gatling and first used by the Union Army during the American Civil War. The weapon was operated by a hand crank that rotated multiple barrels around a central axis that allowed it to be fired at a rapid rate. The Gatling Gun saw service in the Civil War and the Spanish-American War before being officially replaced by the U.S. Military. However, Gatling’s basic design was resurrected during WWII in the form of the M61 Vulcan gun, the progeny of which are still in service today.

1887
Gattling Gun

Gas Pump

Sylvanus Bowser of Fort Wayne, IN invented the first gas pump in 1885. Although Bowser’s invention predated the automobile by several years, his fuel pump was widely used to pump the fuel necessary to operate everyday household appliances such as stoves and kerosene lamps. After the advent of the automobile, Bowser’s fuel pump was quickly adopted by gasoline distributors worldwide. For many years, the term “Bowser” was a common nickname for all fuel pumps and the term is still used abroad in countries such as Australia and New Zealand.

1894
Dishwasher

Dishwasher

Josephine Cochrane, who was raised in Valparaiso, IN, invented the first commercially successful dishwasher, patenting her washer in 1894. Cochrane’s dishwasher was the first to use water pressure instead of scrubbers to clean the dishes. Although not patented until 1894, Cochrane displayed her invention in the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. Cochrane’s dishwasher won the prize for “best mechanical construction, durability, and adaption to its line of work,” beating out newly introduced inventions such as the zipper, the Ferris Wheel, spray paint, and the moving walkway.

1896
Lawn Mower

Lawn Mower

Elwood McGuire of Richmond, IN patented a hand-push mower in 1870. Elwood improved greatly upon the horse-drawn mowers that predated his patented invention. Though Elwood’s mower was not the first lawn mower in the United States, it was his design that became the first commercially successful mower as it was lighter and easier to push than previous models.

1901
Moto Vehicle

Motor Vehicle

Elwood Haynes (aka the “Grandsire of Gasoline Cars”) from Portland, IN conducted one of the first successful automobile road tests in the United States, which predated Henry Ford’s Quadricycle by two years. On July 4, 1894, Haynes’ car traveled from Pumpkinvine Pike to Kokomo, IN at only about 6-7 mph but, according to Haynes, the voyage signaled “a new era . . . for highway travel.” Haynes was also the first person to drive 1000 miles in 1899 and started his own car company, the Haynes Automotive Company.

1913
Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel

Automobile pioneer Elwood Haynes also was an accomplished metallurgist, obtaining a patent on stainless steel in 1913. In attempting to create corrosion-resistant metals for his own line of automobiles, Haynes created several important metal alloys; the most significant of which was stainless steel. At the urging of his wife, Haynes commissioned the forging of the first stainless steel silverware set. Haynes would later say that he created stainless steel because he was tired of polishing his family’s silver tableware.

1928
Hair Straightening

Hair Straightening

In 1928, Majorie Joyner received a patent for a hair straightener. At the time, Joyner was working for Madame C.J. Walker—an African-American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and “the first female self-made millionaire in America.” Walker operated a successful chain of hair salons and beauty schools and based her operations in Indianapolis. Although Joyner assigned her patent to Walker, Joyner and Walker’s professional relationship proved valuable to both women. Walker was able to commercialize Joyner’s invention as the device was later discovered to be a useful tool for treating a wide variety of hair types while Joyner went on to enjoy a full career with Walker’s company, eventually being named vice president of the company’s salon division.

1930
Television

Television

Television pioneer Philo Farnsworth was instrumental in bringing television to the masses. In 1921, when he was only fifteen years old, Farnsworth worked out the basic principles of the electric television and illustrated them on a classroom chalkboard for his high school teacher. Six years later, in 1926, Farnsworth received a patent on that invention and went on to establish the Farnsworth Television and Radio Corporation in Fort Wayne, IN. The RCA corporation challenged several of Farnsworth’s TV patents, claiming an employee of theirs had invented the innovations first. Farnsworth eventually succeeded however, when his high school teacher described the 1921 chalkboard drawings to the Patent Office. Farnsworth later licensed his invention to RCA, which went on to establish a major TV manufacturing plant in Bloomington, IN.

1932
Fridge Design

Fridge Design

Industrial design pioneer Donald Roscoe Dohner was born and raised in Indiana and studied at the John Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis. Dohner oversaw the design of all Westinghouse products beginning in 1930, including the company’s line of home refrigerators. Through his work with the Carnegie Institute for Technology (now Carnegie Mellon) and the Pratt Institute, Dohner revolutionized industrial design education in the United States and was posthumously recognized by the Industrial Designers Society of America as the "Father of American Industrial Design Education."

1936
Camera Design

Camera Design

Walter Teague, known as the “Dean of Industrial Design,” was born in Decateur, IN in 1840. Some of Teague’s greatest professional successes came from his work with Kodak in the late 1920s and into the 1930, including the Art Deco Gift camera, the Baby Brownie, and the Bantam Special. Teague received dozens of patents on his camera designs, bringing him wide recognition.

1947
Penicillin Production

Penicillin Production

In 1944, Andrew J. Moyer—born in 1899 in the small farming community of Van Buren Township in Pulaski County, IN—received a patent for a method for producing penicillin. Though discovery of penicillin is widely credited to Alexander Fleming, neither Fleming nor any other scientist was able to mass-produce the mold. In 1941, Moyer suggested adding corn steep liquor to the growth medium, which led to significant increases in yield. After three years of refining, Moyer’s improvements were ready for patenting and mass production as the first commercial plant for penicillin was opened that year. As a result of Moyer’s work, 2.3 million doses of penicillin were delivered to Allied soldiers during WWII which saved an estimated 12%-15% of wounded Allied soldiers during and after the invasion of Normandy.

1949
Disposable Diapers

Disposable Diapers

Disposible diaper inventor Marion Donovan was born in Fort Wayne, IN in 1917. Donovan’s first foray into the diaper industry came in the late 1940s when she invented a waterproof cover for diapers, the first embodiment of which was fashioned by Donovan at home with her own shower curtain. After patenting her invention in 1951, she sold her patent rights for $1,000,000. Donovan then went on to develop a fully disposable diaper that inspired Pampers to create a commercial version of the innovation.

1959
Fluouride Toothpaste

Fluouride Toothpaste

Starting in the 1950s, Procter and Gamble began funneling millions of dollars to scientists at Indiana University – Bloomington to develop fluoride toothpaste. Through the work of three Hoosier scientists, Harry Day, Joseph C. Muhler, and William Nebergall, a prototype was developed in only two years and a patent was granted to the for the invention the next year in 1953. In 1956, after successful market testing, Procter and Gamble, to whom IU had licensed the patent, launched the new product, which it branded as Crest Toothpaste.

1982
Anxiety Medication

Depression Medication

Indiana-based pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Company first gained FDA approval to Prozac—the first of a new breed of pharmaceutical designed to fight depression—in 1987. Several years before, Indianapolis residents Bryan B. Mooloy and Klaus K. Schmiegel, who were both employed by Eli Lilly, were granted a patent on the drug. Within a year of receiving FDA approval, annual sales in the U.S. alone reached $350m. In the subsequent years, Prozac went on to help millions of Americans suffering through depression and paved the way of other successful anti-depressants.

1996
Expandable Stent

Expandable Stents

Bloomington, IN-based Cook Medical Inc. has been designing novel stent assemblies for treatment of cardiovascular, respiratory, urinary, and other health ailments since filing its first patent for the Gianturo Expandanble Wire Stent in 1986; which was a full two years before the stent was first used successfully in a human patient. Dr. Cesare Gianturo's most recent improvement on the stent resulted in another patent being granted in 1996 for a self-expanding version.

2005
Teakettle Designs

Teakettle Designs

Indianapolis native Michael Graves designed a stainless steel tea kettle in 1985, which went on to become a cultural icon. While it is widely remembered for its whistling, bird-shaped spout, Graves' postmodern tea kettle is still Alessi's most popular product to date. Although Alessi and Graves never applied for a design patent on the tea kettle, below we've included a more recent patent granted to Graves in 2005 for another tea kettle. In addition to his highly successful household product lines, Graves was also a remarkably gifted architect. Arguably most well-known for the work he did for Disney, many Hoosiers know him for his work on the NCAA's Hall of Champions.

Gattling Gun

1862

Gatling Gun

In 1861, Indianapolis resident Richard Gatling invented the precursor to the modern machine gun, commonly known as the “Gatling Gun.” The Gatling Gun was developed by Gatling and first used by the Union Army during the American Civil War. The weapon was operated by a hand crank that rotated multiple barrels around a central axis that allowed it to be fired at a rapid rate. The Gatling Gun saw service in the Civil War and the Spanish-American War before being officially replaced by the U.S. Military. However, Gatling’s basic design was resurrected during WWII in the form of the M61 Vulcan gun, the progeny of which are still in service today.

Gattling Gun

1887

Gas Pump

Sylvanus Bowser of Fort Wayne, IN invented the first gas pump in 1885. Although Bowser’s invention predated the automobile by several years, his fuel pump was widely used to pump the fuel necessary to operate everyday household appliances such as stoves and kerosene lamps. After the advent of the automobile, Bowser’s fuel pump was quickly adopted by gasoline distributors worldwide. For many years, the term “Bowser” was a common nickname for all fuel pumps and the term is still used abroad in countries such as Australia and New Zealand.

Dishwasher

1894

Dishwasher

Josephine Cochrane, who was raised in Valparaiso, IN, invented the first commercially successful dishwasher, patenting her washer in 1894. Cochrane’s dishwasher was the first to use water pressure instead of scrubbers to clean the dishes. Although not patented until 1894, Cochrane displayed her invention in the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. Cochrane’s dishwasher won the prize for “best mechanical construction, durability, and adaption to its line of work,” beating out newly introduced inventions such as the zipper, the Ferris Wheel, spray paint, and the moving walkway.

Lawn Mower

1896

Lawn Mower

Elwood McGuire of Richmond, IN patented a hand-push mower in 1870. Elwood improved greatly upon the horse-drawn mowers that predated his patented invention. Though Elwood’s mower was not the first lawn mower in the United States, it was his design that became the first commercially successful mower as it was lighter and easier to push than previous models.

Moto Vehicle

1901

Motor Vehicle

Elwood Haynes (aka the “Grandsire of Gasoline Cars”) from Portland, IN conducted one of the first successful automobile road tests in the United States, which predated Henry Ford’s Quadricycle by two years. On July 4, 1894, Haynes’ car traveled from Pumpkinvine Pike to Kokomo, IN at only about 6-7 mph but, according to Haynes, the voyage signaled “a new era . . . for highway travel.” Haynes was also the first person to drive 1000 miles in 1899 and started his own car company, the Haynes Automotive Company.

Stainless Steel

1913

Stainless Steel

Automobile pioneer Elwood Haynes also was an accomplished metallurgist, obtaining a patent on stainless steel in 1913. In attempting to create corrosion-resistant metals for his own line of automobiles, Haynes created several important metal alloys; the most significant of which was stainless steel. At the urging of his wife, Haynes commissioned the forging of the first stainless steel silverware set. Haynes would later say that he created stainless steel because he was tired of polishing his family’s silver tableware.

Hair Straightening

1928

Hair Products

In 1928, Majorie Joyner received a patent for a hair straightener. At the time, Joyner was working for Madame C.J. Walker—an African-American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and “the first female self-made millionaire in America.” Walker operated a successful chain of hair salons and beauty schools and based her operations in Indianapolis. Although Joyner assigned her patent to Walker, Joyner and Walker’s professional relationship proved valuable to both women. Walker was able to commercialize Joyner’s invention as the device was later discovered to have be a useful tool for treating a wide variety of hair types while Joyner went on to enjoy a full career with Walker’s company, eventually being named vice president of the company’s salon division.

Television

1930

Television

Television pioneer Philo Farnsworth was instrumental in bringing television to the masses. In 1921, when he was only fifteen years old, Farnsworth worked out the basic principles of the electric television and illustrated them on a classroom chalkboard for his high school teacher. Six years later, in 1926, Farnsworth received a patent on that invention and went on to establish the Farnsworth Television and Radio Corporation in Fort Wayne, IN. The RCA corporation challenged several of Farnsworth’s TV patents, claiming an employee of theirs had invented the innovations first. Farnsworth eventually succeeded however, when his high school teacher described the 1921 chalkboard drawings to the Patent Office. Farnsworth later licensed his invention to RCA, which went on to establish a major TV manufacturing plant in Bloomington, IN.

Fridge Design

1932

Fridge Design

Industrial design pioneer Donald Roscoe Dohner was born and raised in Indiana and studied at the John Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis. Dohner oversaw the design of all Westinghouse products beginning in 1930, including the company’s line of home refrigerators. Through his work with the Carnegie Institute for Technology (now Carnegie Mellon) and the Pratt Institute, Dohner revolutionized industrial design education in the United States and was posthumously recognized by the Industrial Designers Society of America as the "Father of American Industrial Design Education."

Camera Design

1936

Camera Design

Walter Teague, known as the “Dean of Industrial Design,” was born in Decateur, IN in 1840. Some of Teague’s greatest professional successes came from his work with Kodak in the late 1920s and into the 1930, including the Art Deco Gift camera, the Baby Brownie, and the Bantam Special. Teague received dozens of patents on his camera designs, bringing him wide recognition.

Penicillin Production

1947

Penicillin Production

In 1944, Andrew J. Moyer—born in 1899 in the small farming community of Van Buren Township in Pulaski County, IN—received a patent for a method for producing penicillin. Though discovery of penicillin is widely credited to Alexander Fleming, neither Fleming nor any other scientist was able to mass-produce the mold. In 1941, Moyer suggested adding corn steep liquor to the growth medium, which led to significant increases in yield. After three years of refining, Moyer’s improvements were ready for patenting and mass production as the first commercial plant for penicillin was opened that year. As a result of Moyer’s work, 2.3 million doses of penicillin were delivered to Allied soldiers during WWII which saved an estimated 12%-15% of wounded Allied soldiers during and after the invasion of Normandy.

Disposable Diapers

1949

Disposable Diapers

Disposible diaper inventor Marion Donovan was born in Fort Wayne, IN in 1917. Donovan’s first foray into the diaper industry came in the late 1940s when she invented a waterproof cover for diapers, the first embodiment of which was fashioned by Donovan at home with her own shower curtain. After patenting her invention in 1951, she sold her patent rights for $1,000,000. Donovan then went on to develop a fully disposable diaper that inspired Pampers to create a commercial version of the innovation.

Fluouride Toothpaste

1959

Fluouride Toothpaste

Starting in the 1950s, Procter and Gamble began funneling millions of dollars to scientists at Indiana University – Bloomington to develop fluoride toothpaste. Through the work of three Hoosier scientists, Harry Day, Joseph C. Muhler, and William Nebergall, a prototype was developed in only two years and a patent was granted to the for the invention the next year in 1953. In 1956, after successful market testing, Procter and Gamble, to whom IU had licensed the patent, launched the new product, which it branded as Crest Toothpaste.

Anxiety Medication

1982

Depression Medication

Indiana-based pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Company first gained FDA approval to Prozac—the first of a new breed of pharmaceutical designed to fight depression—in 1987. Several years before, Indianapolis residents Bryan B. Mooloy and Klaus K. Schmiegel, who were both employed by Eli Lilly, were granted a patent on the drug. Within a year of receiving FDA approval, annual sales in the U.S. alone reached $350m. In the subsequent years, Prozac went on to help millions of Americans suffering through depression and paved the way of other successful anti-depressants.

Expandable Stent

1996

Expandable Stents

Bloomington, IN-based Cook Medical Inc. has been designing novel stent assemblies for treatment of cardiovascular, respiratory, urinary, and other health ailments since filing its first patent for the Gianturo Expandanble Wire Stent in 1986; which was a full two years before the stent was first used successfully in a human patient. Dr. Cesare Gianturo's most recent improvement on the stent resulted in another patent being granted in 1996 for a self-expanding version.

Teakettle Designs

2005

Tea Kettle Designs

Indianapolis native Michael Graves designed a stainless steel tea kettle in 1985, which went on to become a cultural icon. While it is widely remembered for its whistling, bird-shaped spout, Graves' postmodern tea kettle is still Alessi's most popular product to date. Although Alessi and Graves never applied for a design patent on the tea kettle, below we've included a more recent patent granted to Graves in 2005 for another tea kettle. In addition to his highly successful household product lines, Graves was also a remarkably gifted architect. Arguably most well-known for the work he did for Disney, many Hoosiers know him for his work on the NCAA's Hall of Champions.