Mar 19, 2017

First patents filed by some (now) famous companies > Qualcomm, Nokia, LinkedIn, Sandisk, & Nike

Oftentimes, the first patent filing of a company expresses its earliest intention. In this post, we summarise the first patent filings of some of the famous companies we know today.

Qualcomm's first patent filing

Along with Klein Gilhousen, Irwin Jacobs, the founder of Qualcomm, filed US4901307 on 17th Oct 1986. This patent appears to be the first patent assigned to Qualcomm, and it is in clear sync with the CDMA focus that the company had at its conception.

Nike's first patent, US4183156A, claims a priority of Jan 14, 1977, and appears to be covering Nike's Air technology invented by M. Frank RudyThere's an interesting history behind this that is well covered in the book 'Shoe Dog by Phil Knight'

After the news of Sandisk's unveiling of the World’s Highest Capacity microSD™ Card, that packs a whopping 200 GB in a nail size inny-winny card came out, we at thinkPat thought of finding its earliest patent, and we came across US5297148A claiming a priority of 1989 assigned to Sandisk Corp, titled 'Memory card connectable to a computer system'

Two interesting patent filings reveal what the initial focus of LinkedIn would have been on, perhaps more like a whitespace the founders were trying to fill:

The earliest one is titled, 'Method and system for leveraging the power of one's social network in an online marketplace' (US8713000B1)

This patent filing is all about finding people working in a company before applying for a job posting from that company. These people may be direct (1st degree) or indirect (2nd and 3rd degree) contacts in the network of the user.

Another patent filing which is one of the earliest filings is titled, 'Method and system for reputation evaluation of online users in a social networking scheme' (US8010460B2). This one is all about ranking a user profile based on multiple attributes.

Nokia is well known for its cell phones, and although it was founded well earlier in 1860s-1870s, its first phone patent was filed in the 1990s.
This patent, a design patent, was titled 'Portable handset telephone' and can be accessed at USD325577.


thinkPat is planning to cover free training materials for patent research in the form of articles, how-tos and videos. Check out the current patent research training article on data visualisation using tableau, and another one on using open refine for patent assignee/applicant cleaning