Basic Patent Facts

  • The first US patent was issued on July 31, 1790 to Samuel Hopkins of Philadelphia.

  • Numbered patents began in 1836. Patent No. 1 was granted to John Ruggles of Maine on July 13, 1836.

  • There are three types of patents: utility, design, and plant.

  • The US has issued over 8 million patents since 1790.

  • 253,155 utility patents were issued in 2012.

  • Patents grant inventors the right to control the use of their inventions for 20 years in the case of utility and plant patents and for 14 years in the case of design patents.

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  • Just for Fun: Celebrity Patents:


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