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FAMOUS SERBIAN INVENTORS

MIHAJLO PUPIN

In the framework of the new page on the site of the Intellectual Property Office, under the title: ”Famous Serbian Inventors and Scientists”, on the occasion of the 80 years from the death of the famous scientist and inventor, we shall represent the activities of Mihajlo Pupin in the realization of patent protection.

The great inventor Mihajlo Pupin was active, with some pauses, for over entire three decades. The greatest number of his inventions was protected by patents. His first patent application in the USA, Pupin filed on December 14, 1893 for the invention under the title Apparatus for Telegraphic or Telephonic Transmission, for which he got his patent US 519,346 almost five months later. In this period of his creative work, from 1893 to 1903, Pupin obtained a total of 14 patents in the field of electronics, in particular, telecommunications.

Then, there was a pause, until 1915, and after that there was a serial of patents that he got together with his student and collaborator, later a Nobel Prize Winner Mr. Edvin Armstrong. In the period of 20 years of the last century, till his death in 1935, he obtained 21 patents.

Inventions made by Pupin enabled not only ground telephone and telegraph connections at long distances, but also the implementation of his inventions enabled the utilization of the underwater communication cables. His work included the field of electronics, that he tackled together with Edvin Armstrong and realized the electrical filters and sound generators, which confirmed his multifold talent.

For the last, 35th USA patent of Pupin US 2,150,781 the application was filed on July 9th, 1936, only after his death. Patent for the invention: “Telegraph System” was granted to Pupin daughter Varvara Pupin Smith on March 14th 1939.

The examination conducted in the patent data bases and available archives by Snezana Sarboh, Ph.D. patent examiner in the IPO of the Republic of Serbia along with the Slobodan Stojkovic from the Association of Inventors of Serbia showed that Mihajlo Pupin, apart from the USA, got a considerable number of patents in another 16 countries. Mr. Sasa Zdravkovic from the IPO, who joined this examination, found the analogues of Pupin patents from another five countries: India, South African Republic, Mexico, Tasmania (Australia) and Holland. The current data indicate that there were almost 70 patents from 20 different countries from all five continents.

Among these patents, for various reasons, we find that the most interesting are the British patents. As a matter of fact, the greatest number of Pupin patents from other countries originates from the UK. However, the most important thing is the fact that among 17 British patents, for 6 British patents there were no corresponding US patents. This actually means that this 6 British patents, represent the basic patents and they have been specially marked in the table on the page “Famous Serbian Inventors and Scientists”.

Except for the first of these British patents (UK patent GB 13,205 (1895)), all the others claim priority from the USA patents filed earlier, from which we conclude that Pupin filed the appropriate applications first in the USA, but those applications were either refused or he abandoned them. By the way, the subject matters of these applications are Pupin inventions from different fields of electronics, in particular communications.

Apart from that, Pupin got for his inventions 10 patents in France, 8 in Canada, 5 in Denmark and 4 patents each for Germany, Spain, South African Republic and 2 patents each for Australia and Mexico. In other mentioned countries he obtained one patent in each country.

Survey of Pupin patents per country where granted

Country

Number of patents

USA

35

Australia

2

Austria

1

Great Britain

17

Victoria (Australia)

1

Denmark

5

India

1

South African Republic

4

Canada

8

Queensland (Australia)

1

Hungary

1

Mexico

2

Germany

4

New Zeland

1

Russia

1

Tasmania (Australia)

1

France

10

Holland

1

Swiss

1

Sweden

1

Spain

4


With regard to the above mentioned, it should be emphasized that before the foundation of Australia in 1904, the countries it consisted from (West Australia, Queensland, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and others) issued separate patents, but afterwards, the granting of those separate patents in each country stopped, and instead of that there was the practice of granting only one patent valid in all the constituent countries of Australia.

With the exception of six British patents, which represent basic patents, all different Pupin patents filed in other countries, except the USA, represent analogues, i.e. patents protecting the same inventions in other countries, filed only after filing the application that resulted in the basic patent.

The analysis of the mentioned data establishes that Mihajlo Pupin had 41 basic patents, including 35 American and 6 British. It has also been established that Pupin had, at least 61 analogues of these patents, which means that for his inventions Pupin got 102 patents in 21 counties. The invention that Pupin protected in the greatest number of countries is the Pupin coils (USA patent US 652,230). There is a significant possibility in the future for us to reveal the still unknown Pupin patents in particular countries, and this exploration shall continue in the future.

- click here for the text about Mihajlo Pupin created by Dr. Branimir Simic Glavaski