While poking around on the USPTO and Google to try to figure out how to get single PDF documents for my indexing project, I discovered that the Google advanced search interface won’t retrieve any documents based on the inventor field. I run the searches three ways: by typing an author’s name into the Google patent search box, by typing it into the advanced search form on Google, and by entering it into the USPTO’s advanced search form. I expect the first set of results to be the largest as it may include hits where the inventor is referenced by some other patent, but the second two should return the same number of hits. The results for a couple of searches are shown below; you can run your vanity search yourself.
I don’t know if this is a metadata problem (along the lines of the Google books metadata issues that came up in the context of Google Books), or if it is a UI/front end issue. In any case, it seems odd that testing didn’t catch this bug.