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United States Patent and Trademark Office Issues 10 Millionth Patent

One Tuesday, June 19, 2018, President Trump personally signed United States Letters Patent No. 10,000,000, awarded to Raytheon Co. employee Joseph Marron for a system using “coherent ladar using intra-pixel quadrature detection.” The patented system shoots lasers at an object, determining relative speed and distance, and 3D position, based on the laser light reflected from the object.

To give you an idea of how many inventors are currently filing patents, it took over two hundred years to go from United States Letters Patent No. 1, issued in 1790 to Samuel Hopkins for a method of making potash, to United States Letters Patent No. 5,000,000, issued in 1991 to Lonnie O. Ingram, Tyrell Conway, and Flavio Alterthum, for a genetically modified strain of E. coli capable of producing ethanol from wood. It then took less than twenty years to go from United States Letters Patent No. 5,000,000 to United States Letters Patent No. 10,000,000. With about 300,000 new patents issuing annually, we may not even have to wait seventeen years to reach the next 5,000,000 patent milestone.

For more history of patent in the United States, visit the United States Patent Office.

Brett Trout

Posted in Patent Law.