Johan Vaaler (March 15, 1866 - 1910) was a Norwegian inventor who was granted patents for a kind of paperclip in Germany in 1899 and in the United Statesin 1901.
Vaaler was born in Aurskog in Norway. Vaaler was a patent clerk at Bryn's patent office in Oslo. Although Norway had patent legislation at the time, he chose to have his invention patented abroad. But his paperclip was never produced and marketed , since the much more functional "Gem" paperclip was already in production in England. Most literature on the subject falsely credits Vaaler with the invention of the "Gem" clip, the now common type. Norwegians have created a national myth out of the fact that Vaaler invented some kind of paperclip, although imperfect.
The paperclip became a symbol of Norwegian resistance to Nazi occupation in World War II after badges bearing the face of the exiled King Haakon VII were banned.
A giant paperclip has been erected near Oslo in honour of Vaaler.