Most Important Spanish Patents in History | Inventions and Their Inventors.

The extensive list of most important Spanish patents in history is a clear example of the relevance that Spanish inventors and their inventions have had over the years for the advancement of science.

A few years ago, during the Covid-19 Pandemic, Spain was also one of the countries where the highest number of patents were filed worldwide. This trend of increasing number of patent applications has continued in subsequent periods. Undoubtedly, Spanish ingenuity has been a constant throughout history, as evidenced by the extensive list of Spanish inventions and patents.

Leonardo Torres Quevedo. 5 relevant patents in the history of Spanish inventors

While everyone knows Leonardo Torres Quevedo, the great Spanish inventor, for his renowned contribution to cable-driven aerial transport: "The cable car," the truth is that Torres Quevedo did not stop with this major patent. 

Leonardo Torres patented at least 5 inventions that are part of the most important Spanish patents in history list.

Registered Patent



Patente del Mando a distancia” se traduce al inglés como “Remote Control Patent

World's first remote control device. With this Spanish invention, machines and vehicles could be controlled via radio signals.


Patent for the dirigible aircraft

Building upon his previous inventions and patents related to remote controls, his second patent was the radio-controlled airship.


Patent for the Funicular

Among the first significant Spanish patents, the patent for the Funicular stands out. The innovation in this patent was based on a completely innovative design.


Patent for algebraic machines

The algebraic machine patent invented by Torres Quevedo has been a clear predecessor of computers. His machines were capable of solving complex formulas.


Patent for an automaton chess player

Torres Quevedo patented and brought to market one of the world's first automatons. This Spanish patent was highly significant in the evolution of automatons worldwide.



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Manuel Jalón Corominas, the famous Spanish inventor of the mop. 

Manuel Jalón has been one of the most prominent Spanish inventors in history. Jalón's story as a Spanish inventor is widely known for the famous mop patent.

Yes, it is indeed true that Manuel Jalón was the inventor of the mop, and that the mop is a Spanish patent. However, I find his second patent equally or even more relevant.

In 1964, Jalón patented and introduced to the market the disposable syringe. Among the main claims of his syringe patent, the change of material stood out, offering a significant advantage for a critical situation like the ongoing Holocaust. 

While it is true that the mop is an invention that all Spaniards are very proud of, it is crucial to remember Manuel Jalón's history of inventions for the number of lives he could save with his medical invention "The disposable syringe".

Registered Patent



Mop patent 

Mechanical element known as mop. The geometric shape, insertion of the handle as an ergonomic element, were some of the innovative elements of this historic patent from Spain. 


Patent for the disposable syringe 

In the same year, the famous Spanish inventor patented the Disposable Syringe, a true breakthrough in the medical sector at the time.  



Ángel Catalá Latorre, the inventor of Chupa Chups. 

patentes inventos y sus inventores españoles
Most relevant Spanish patents in the world.

Chupa Chups has been one of the most famous Spanish inventions worldwide. It is particularly one of the most recognized invention patents by Spaniards. The history of Alberto Latorre as an inventor began in 1922 when he registered the Chupa Chups patent. The inclusion of a stick in the lollipop represented an ergonomic and clean way to consume this product. Therefore, although it may seem like a minor or insignificant innovation, it was enough to exploit an invention patent for 20 years.

The Chupa Chups patent was not the only patent by Catalá. His second patent was for a machine designed to package Chupa Chups efficiently and more affordably than was done at the time of the birth of the new Spanish invention. Nowadays, many inventors who register patents for innovative inventions often innovate in the development of specific machines that improve their production and packaging, thereby completing the protection of their inventions with patents that encompass the processes.

Development of Nanotechnology in Spain. Source of Spanish patents since the 2000s 

Although it is true that the most famous Spanish patents are related to simple inventions like the mop and the stick of the Chupa Chups, which have been renowned for their balance of success and simplicity, Spain also has an extensive list of patents in the field of science that have preceded very famous inventions worldwide. 

Nanotechnology has been one of the most studied fields in Spanish universities. From this technology, patents have emerged such as those by the Spanish inventor Javier García Martínez. The Spanish patent Nanotechnology applied to energy and catalysis has had a significant impact on the development of this science.

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Spanish inventors and their most important inventions for the world.

Spanish inventors

Spanish inventions

Contribution of the invention

Isaac Peral

Peral Submarine

Invention of one of the first military submarines in the world.

Juan de la Cierva

Autogyro patent

Invention of the autogiro, precursor to modern helicopters.

Emilio Herrera

Nautical Strato Suit

Inventor of the first space suit.

Margarita Salas

DNA polymerase

Inventor of DNA polymerase.

Pedro Nunes


Precision measuring device

Esteban Terradas

Theory of elasticity

Inventor of highly relevant theories for advancing research in the theory of elasticity

Eloy Gonzalo

Fusil Retrocarga

Inventor del fusil con sistema mecánico de retrocarga.

Here are three key conclusions about the history of the greatest Spanish inventors: 

  1. Design and Prototyping: 100% of Spanish inventors who have succeeded with their inventions have financed the design and development of their innovative inventions before registering their patents. From this common pattern among the most successful Spanish inventors, we can conclude that it is not good practice to patent inventions before creating functional prototypes that can demonstrate their technical viability.
  2. Complexity of Inventions: To succeed with an invention patent, it is not necessary for it to be overly disruptive or sophisticated. The most relevant aspect for success with a novel invention is demonstrating its functional viability to solve real problems faced by society.
  3. Utility Model is not the Best Option: 100% of Spanish inventors who have succeeded with their inventions have registered invention patents with 20-year protection. They prefer traditional patents. None of the Spanish inventors, even those who have invented simple and easy-to-make inventions, have opted for the Utility Model as a method of protecting their ideas.

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