The History & Growth of the Patent

Did you know that the United States Patent and Trademark Office only dates back to 1975, but patents have been issued since 1836? And since then, there has been10 million patents issued. So, what is the history behind the patent?

As defined by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, “a patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to the inventor issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.” The terms of the patent lasts for 20 years and there are three different types, a utility patent, a design patent and a plant patent.

Even though the first patent was actually signed by George Washington in the year 1790, the Patent Act of 1836 is when the current numbering system started. But what is interesting is that we haven’t seen a huge growth in utility patents until recent decades. The utility patent is the most common type of patent and from the years of 1836 to 1991, 5 million utility patents were issued.

That means, in the last 27 years, the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued double the amount of utility patents.

There are a few reasons for the spike in patents. First, the United States Patent and Trademark Office has become more patent friendly, making it a little easier to obtain a patent. Also, there has been an extreme growth in technology in the last 20 years, leading to more inventions and more people applying for patents.

However, obtaining a patent isn’t a walk through the park. It takes time and dedication along with understanding of the process. This is why it is important to work with an expert like a Phoenix patent attorney to help guide you through it. Since there are so many patents out there, of course there is going to be a bigger chance of committing patent infringement. Another reason to hire the help of a patent attorney.

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