The late Steve Jobs has been hailed as a brilliant businessman, marketer, and visionary. He was also an prolific inventor, if the number of patents bearing his name are any indication.
No less than 323 Apple patents list Jobs among the inventors responsible for them. Now the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is honoring the Apple founder with a dedicated exhibit.
The Patents and Trademarks of Steve Jobs: Art and Technology that Changed the World puts Jobs’ patents on display in the USPTO’s National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum. Conceived by the nonprofit Invent Now, the exhibit has a look that’s instantly recognizable: 30 giant-size iPhones, lined up screen to screen in a simple rectangular formation, like a military salute designed by Jonathan Ive.
Among the patents Jobs is credited with: “Method and apparatus for use of rotational user inputs,” which essentially patented the iPod clickwheel; “Voicemail manager for portable multifunction device,” the basis for the iPhone’s visual voicemail; and 13 separate patents on product packaging alone.
While the exhibit is meant to “give insight into the visionary commitment” of Jobs, the patent vault at Apple has factored highly in the escalation of legal battles over intellectual property in recent years. Most prominently, Samsung has been engaged in patent wars with Apple over how closely its Galaxy products mimic the design and operation of iPhones and iPads, as shown in this infographic.
To a lesser extent, Nokia, Motorola, and even LG have tussled with Apple over patent infringement.
The Jobs exhibit kicked off Nov. 16 and is on display until Jan. 15, 2012. Located in the atrium of the Madison Building on the USPTO’s campus in Alexandria, Va., it’s free to attend during the museum’s regular business hours.