Jerome "Jerry" Hal Lemelson (July 18, 1923 – October 1, 1997) was an American engineer, inventor, and patent holder. Several of his inventions and works in the fields in which he patented have made possible, either wholly or in part, innovations like automatedwarehouses, industrial robots, cordless telephones, fax machines, videocassette recorders, camcorders, and the magnetic tape drive used in Sony's Walkman tape players. Lemelson's 605 patents made him one of the most prolific inventors in American history.
Lemelson was an advocate for the rights of independent inventors; he served on a federal advisory committee on patent issues from 1976 to 1979. A series of patent litigations and subsequent licensing negotiations made him a controversial figure, seen as staunch supporter for the rights of independent inventors, while criticized by patent attorneys and directors of some of the companies with whom he was involved in litigation.
In 1993, Lemelson and his family established the Lemelson Foundation, a philanthropy with the mission to support invention and innovation to improve lives in the US and developing countries.
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