Inventions and Patents
There are currently about four million patents in force worldwide, and every year 700,000 new patents are applied for. Although the research required is time-consuming and the registration expensive, the European Patent Office alone receives over 150,000 patent applications each year. More than half of these applications are granted a patent. Only a few patented inventions become an economic success, however.
Between 1967 and 1976, Jacqueline Urbach was issued with no less than six registered patents connected to the development of contact lenses. Two of her inventions were a huge economic success and had a major and lasting effect on the development of contact lenses.
1967: Invention of the colored lens
Patent no.: D211757
Even today, colored contact lenses are still manufactured based on Urbach's invention.
1974: Invention of soft lens material
Patent no.: 3985697
Urbach improved the fragile base material used to manufacture soft lenses, which was invented by Otto Wichterle in 1959. He created a much thinner, more stable lens material which significantly improved comfort. The invention then made it possible to produce soft lenses on conventional lathes.
1969: Invention of an apparatus for refined finishing of the edge of the lens
Patent no.: 3458959
The apparatus developed by Urbach makes it possible to polish and refine the edge of the lens to minimize eye irritation and significantly optimize comfort.
1973: Process for sterilizing hydrophilic gelatin lenses having ultraviolet stabilizers
Patent no.: 3852032