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GE researcher narrowly misses 10 millionth U.S. patent

GE researcher narrowly misses 10 millionth U.S. patent

NIskayuna-based biologist now holds 50 patents
GE researcher narrowly misses 10 millionth U.S. patent
Molecular biologist John Nelson works at the General Electric Global Research Center in Niskayuna in this undated, provided shot
Photographer: provided photo

NISKAYUNA — A molecular biologist at General Electric’s Global Research Center in Niskayuna fell short (and went long) Tuesday in his quest to be issued the 10 millionth U.S. patent.

John Nelson, of Clifton Park, calculated — correctly, as it turns out  — that the milestone patent would be issued on June 19, and he timed two applications so they would be issued on that day.

“Methods for Electroelution of biomolecules” was issued patent No. 9,999,856; co-inventors are Craig Galligan, Ralf Lenigk, John Nelson, Christopher Puleo, Patrick Spooner, Nichole Wood and Li Zhu.

“Sample Collection and Quality Control for Blood-Borne Pathogens” was issued patent No. 10,000,742; co-inventors are Scott Duthie, Erik Kvam and John Nelson.

Nelson on Tuesday did achieve a landmark reached by few other researchers, his 50th patent. But patent No. 10,000,000 was issued for “Coherent Ladar Using Intra-Pixel Quadrature Detection,” owned by Raytheon Company and invented by Joseph Marron.

GE Chief Technology Officer Vic Abate, head of Global Research, noted Tuesday that GE has amassed more than 63,000 patents in its 126-year history. The company averages 30 a week now, Abate said, and landed 35 on Tuesday.

But he singled out Nelson for landing his 50th.

“How cool is that? Congratulations John!” Abate wrote in a LinkedIn post.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office also celebrated the occasion of the 10 millionth patent Tuesday.

The volume of patent applications and approvals is accelerating. The first U.S. patent was granted in 1790; by 1900, barely more than 1 million had been issued. It took just three years, two months and 12 days to go from patent No. 9,000,000 to No. 10,000,000.

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