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Maria V. Hernandez
Physics winners decorated for pioneering work in modern-day information technology
Jack S. Kilby, Zhores Ivanovich Alferov and Herbert Kroemer each hold U.S. patents for the work for which they were honored with the 2000 Nobel Prize for Physics. Jack S. Kilby, received patents for his work minituarizing integrated circuits (patents nubmers 3,138,743 and 4,042,948). Zhores Ivanovich Alferov is a co-inventor on patent number 3,958,265 for the semiconductor light-emitting diode, and Herbert Kroemer is a co-inventor on two patents--patent number 3,309,553 covering semiconductor solid state radiation emitters and patent number 5,013,683, for a method of growing tilted super lattices. The work covered in these patents helped to lay the groundwork for the increasingly faster speed and smaller size of today's information technology, and is the basis for their Nobel Prize. In 1982, Kilby was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his work relating to patent number 3,138,743.
Kilby's, Alferov's and Kroemer's patents, as well as all patents issued since the first one in 1790, can be viewed on www.uspto.gov.
USPTO, a user fee-funded agency of the United States, within the Department of Commerce, administers laws relevant to granting patents and registering trademarks. The Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office advises the Secretary of Commerce and other federal departments and agencies on intellectual property policy matters. Over 6 million patents have been issued since the first patent in 1790 and 2.3 million trademarks have been registered since the first in 1870. Last year USPTO issued 161,000 patents and registered 104,000 trademarks.
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