Marcella Mekenkamp

Stories of inventors and their inventions: The man behind the smart-phone…The man with over 10.000 patents.

Blog Post created by Marcella Mekenkamp Partner on 07-Nov-2018

This article was written by the IP Team of InnoEnergy

We all read stories about the innovators of today and how their products or services make a difference. In this series of publications, we shed light on a side that remains often dark and unknown to the public: their patented inventions and what impact they have had on other innovators across society. We did the research and summarized our findings.

Today, we will be discussing the Japanese inventor Shunpei Yamazaki, who is the owner of the company Semiconductor Energy Laboratory. Never heard of him, you say? Well, that is not surprising, because his inventions are mostly taken up by big names, such as Apple, Dell, Microsoft, Huawei, and Lenovo, making the inventor behind their products relatively unknown. But Shunpei Yamazaki should definitely be recognized as a prolific inventor! Why? Because this man is the world record holder of the most patents! According to the Guinness book of records, Shunpei Yamazaki held around 11300 patents in 2016. Is that a lot you ask? Well, Thomas Edison, a man we all know, held around 2300 patents to his name… so yes! When looking at the patent databases ourselves, we see that his company Semiconductor Energy Laboratory already applied for approximately 2000 inventions more since 2016. Most of these patents of Yamazaki are in electronic items that you use every day, such as your computer and smart-phone, from brands as mentioned above. It might thus be that you are looking at this article now, through an invention that was made possible by Shunpei Yamazaki!

If you want to know more about Yamazaki, and his most iconic invention ‘Indium–gallium–zinc oxide (IGZO)’, an invention that boosted technical development, you can watch this interview:

IGZO inventor, Dr. Shunpei Yamazaki, President of Semiconductor Energy Laboratory (SEL) - YouTube 


The authors of his publication have used publicaly available information only. No private information was handed to them by the innovators or third parties.


Kevin Maney, 2007

Heather Johnson Yu, 2017

Guinness World Records Limited, 2018