Inventors and Patents From the City of Austin

Austin is known for being a place of innovation, creativity and invention. Patents are one of best measures of innovation. Austin has been very competitive in the number and quality of patents it issues each year. The number of patents that the University of Texas has earned is third in the country.

Austin was ranked No. 3   “Most Inventive City” due to patent activity by Wall Street Journal in 2006, Austin was named the No. 2 Forbes’ 2010 list of America’s Most Innovative Cities (based on per capita patent activity and VC investment).

According to a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office geographical analysis of patent activity, Austin surpasses larger metropolitan areas. Austin is not only ranked in the top 10 U.S. metropolitan areas for patent activity per capita, but it also ranks 11th in terms of the total number of patents granted over that period.

  Patent activity rankings: 50 largest metros

Source: U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

Inventions are the highest expression of human ingenuity. They use materials that are readily available to combine established knowledge with new ideas to create something that advances society. Austin is home to many of these inventors and is known for its Inventors Program. If you’re interested in learning about some of the many inventions from the Austin area, check out this article. You might learn something new!

Austin is a hotbed for innovation

With a rapidly growing population, Austin is rapidly becoming a hotbed for innovation. The city is a magnet for top talent and is home to many established tech companies. Companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Flextronics have offices in Austin, and the U.S. Army’s Futures Command is based in the city’s Center for Defense Innovation at the Capital Factory. The city’s growing tech ecosystem is also home to many new and exciting startups.

Google is expanding its presence in Austin. It has an office in the downtown area and several satellite offices north of the city. Indeed occupies 10 floors of a downtown office building, and it has more offices north of the city. The company has more than 1,600 employees in Austin. Atlassian, a software company, opened an Austin office in 2014 for a 150-person team. The company now has over 400 employees and recently announced a permanent remote work option.

The city’s Innovation District is a collaborative space for entrepreneurs, startups, and researchers. Austin is also home to the Dell Medical School, which is transforming health care by training future physicians and emphasizing patient-centered care. Many companies are taking advantage of the city’s innovative talent in health care, technology, and life sciences. The city also has numerous incubators, which support local startups. It’s no wonder Austin is considered a hotbed for innovation.

Patents awarded to Austin area inventors

Source: U.S. Patent & Trademark Office

UT Austin’s Inventor Program

The University of Texas Austin Inventor Program was developed to encourage students to pursue innovative ideas by connecting them with real-world problems. Students collaborate with faculty, alumni, and community organizations to develop problem proposals and design projects that will benefit the community. As part of the Inventor Program, students are required to design prototypes, conduct market research, and make recommendations for procedures and policies. Students who complete the program are highly qualified to enter the workforce.

This program offers an educational environment for innovative ideas and the chance to work with renowned experts in the field. It is part of the University’s College of Natural Sciences and emphasizes inclusion, diversity, and equity. Students participate in the program’s Inventors program and can also take part in the institute’s Sprints and Practicums. It is the first of its kind and works with students from around the world to help them create and launch their own business.

UT Austin researchers who received U.S. patents in the last fiscal year were recognized at the Inventor Award Ceremony. The program also features the UT Austin Commercialization Series for faculty interested in commercialization. It recognizes UT researchers who have created new products and technologies and applied them to real-world problems. While many ideas are uncommercialized, others are becoming the next big thing. UT Austin’s Inventor Program can help entrepreneurs develop new ideas and business plans.

Cirrus Logic

Cirrus Logic’s CEO recently registered his 500th patent with the U.S. patent office. Thomas Edison held more than a thousand patents in his lifetime. Edwin Land, the co-founder of Polaroid, has 535 patents and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has more than one hundred. Cirrus Logic is a low-power voice and audio chip company. The company is also one of Austin’s top employers.

Cirrus Logic is a leading innovator in the mixed-signal processing industry. The company’s products enable the creation of innovative consumer and mobile applications. Founded in 1984, the company is headquartered in Austin, Texas. The Austin company has been recognized for its award-winning corporate culture and innovative product solutions. At present, Cirrus Logic has more than 3,450 issued patents worldwide. AudioLogic was acquired by Cirrus Logic in 1999.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office tabulates the number of patents that are attributed to Austin inventors. Many patents have more than one assignee organization, but data is reflected only for the first name assigned to the patent.

International Business Machines

The University of Texas at Austin has been the home of many inventors, and one of the most recent is a patent assigned to an employee of International Business Machines. The patent covers a method of facilitating the design of a clock grid for an integrated circuit.

   Image credit: Google patents

The invention was developed by a group of seven people, including Austin natives Jason Baumgartner, Geert Janssen, and Robert Kanzelman.Patents credited to Austin inventors are tabulated by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Another example of a patent awarded to a company is the one assigned to International Business Machines for determining the value of an association between ontologies. This patent was developed by five individuals, including two Austin residents and three from Belgium. The patent was filed on June 10, 2011.

Source: Google patents

IBM is the largest patenting organization in Austin. As of 2009, IBM’s Austin lab produced 880 patents, three times more than competitor Sun Microsystems. Six of the company’s top 25 inventors are Austin residents. Among the most prolific is chip-focused engineer Ravi Arimilli, who holds more than 50 patents.

John Melanson

A senior technical fellow at Cirrus Logic, John Melanson has been granted his 500th U.S. patent. Melanson’s contributions are in the fields of audio, electronics, and analog technologies, and they have changed the way people interact with devices. In particular, his patents on digital signal processing have played a major role in the development of consumer audio products.

Melanson was one of the founding members of AudioLogic and was granted his first patent in 1974. His invention enabled the development of modern electronic keyboards. After Audiologic was acquired by Cirrus Logic, Melanson moved to Austin, where he has since been involved in a variety of technological innovations including personal computing, semiconductors, networking gear, and much more.

In his early career, Melanson developed electronic equipment, and he has dozens of patents pending. His latest three were granted in June. Melanson has been inventing for many decades, and he doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. His work has helped create many products and improved lives in many industries. He received several awards and honors in his field.

Source: Google patents

Joseph J. Beaman

Inventing is the highest expression of human ingenuity. A person takes materials they find around them, combines it with new knowledge, and creates something new that helps society advance. Countless UT Austin researchers have made a name for themselves through inventions. A selection of these inventions and the people who created them are featured in Inventors and Patents From the City of Austin.

One of his most notable patents was for Selective Laser Sintering (SLS). SLS has revolutionized the manufacturing process of complex parts. This process reduces time and cost and can produce complex geometries in one operation. It is now used in a wide range of industries, from aviation to medical devices. For more information on Beaman’s many patents, visit his website.

Source: Google patents

Tito’s Vodka

Tito’s Handmade Vodka, a vodka brand by Fifth Generation, was founded in Austin, Texas by Tito Beveridge, in 1997. It specializes in vodka made from yellow corn rather than potatoes and wheat. It is unaged and distilled six times.

Although Bert Butler Beveridge II was born and raised in San Antonio (Texas), he made it to Austin as fast as he could. After graduating from the University of Texas, Beveridge left the oilfield to pursue his passion for vodka distilling and opened the first Texas legal distillery.

Although sales were slow at first, Tito’s Vodka saw rapid growth after winning the Double Gold Medal in vodka at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2001. This victory over 71 premium vodkas was a huge boost to their business. Tito’s Vodka won many awards over the years and is still being produced at the Mockingbird Distillery, Southeast Austin.

Dell Computers

Dell Computers was founded in Austin, and is still operating today. Many Austinites invested in Dell Computers when they first launched. The tech boom exploded and made a lot of people “Dellionaires”. They might be to blame for everything being so costly here.

Tom Ford

In 1961, Austin was home to the fashion icon Tom Ford. After breaking Gucci’s mold and Yves Saint Laurent’s, he started his own clothing line. He even became a director for A Single Men, his 2009 debut with Colin Firth, and Julianne Moore. There’s no reason Austin shouldn’t get the credit.

Yeti Coolers 

Yeti Coolers keep beer ice-cold even in extreme heat. This is why they are so popular in Austin. Although they are a bit expensive, can you really price beer that stays cold for several weeks?


Its slogan used to be, “funny name but serious sandwich”, and it wasn’t playing. Bread alone could end all wars. It is similar to a muffuletta bread, but it has something special that makes them stand out. There are more than 350 franchises in the country and they continue to open new locations.

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