Feature Story

One inventor, 100 Boeing patents

Gary Georgeson's 100th patent is for a robotic rover that scans an aircraft for possible defects.

Boeing

Gary Georgeson’s 100th patent is for a robotic rover that scans an aircraft for possible defects.

In a new milestone for Boeing, the company’s most prolific inventor received both his 100th and 101st U.S. patent, making him the first Boeing employee in the company's nearly 100-year history to have reached that 100 mark.

The company celebrated Technical Fellow Gary Georgeson’s achievement at a surprise gathering in Seattle. At the event, Boeing Chief Technology Officer John Tracy praised not only Georgeson himself, but what he comes to represent -- all Boeing inventors who work diligently for innovations that deliver the best products and services in aerospace.

“It's fitting that a company like Boeing take time to honor a teammate like Gary for his many original ideas. Because it’s these ideas that help address the challenging questions at the center of our industry and ultimately make the world a better place,” Tracy said, before presenting Georgeson with a cut-crystal vase inscribed with Boeing’s inventor emblem.

Tracy also thanked members of Georgeson’s family, who were in attendance, for the time that they share with Boeing, as inventors typically work long hours around the clock to refine their ideas into actual inventions. He also noted that this achievement is not particularly easy at a company that relies heavily on trade secret protection of its innovations.

"We just love solving problems, and so we invent."

Georgeson’s 100th patent is a robotic rover that scans an aircraft for possible defects.

“I am so touched to be honored this way,” Georgeson said after accepting official congratulations at the lunch ceremony in his honor. “None of this is possible without the great team of very smart people I get to work with. My co-inventors, my managers, we are all constantly encouraging each other to think differently and find valuable solutions to the many problems before us.

“We just love solving problems, and so we invent,” he said.

The fact that Georgeson, who came to Boeing in 1988, achieved this milestone is not surprising, considering that he files 15 to 20 invention disclosures a year.

To date, Georgeson has submitted more than 250 invention disclosures to the company.

Although Georgeson now holds 101 original, U.S. patents, his inventions have been protected in other countries, as well, bringing his global patent total to 166.

For more about Georgeson and other prolific patent-holders at Boeing, see this article from the September 2012 edition of Boeing Frontiers magazine.