Window into the Past

Patents can be an interesting window into the past.  For example on December 14, 1937, U.S. Patent No. D107425 issued to Wallace K. Harrison and J. Andre Fouilhoux on a model of an architectural unit.

The design is of the Trylon, Perisphere, and Helicline that became the central symbol of the 1939 New York World’s Fair, reproduced by the millions on a wide range of promotional materials.   and serving as the fairground’s focal point.  The structures were razed and scrapped after the closing of the fair, and their materials repurposed into World War II armaments, but the image and the optimism for the future they were intended to convey, persist in the records of the USPTO.


A Chicken in Every Pot, A Patent in Every Portfolio

So July 6 is National Fried Chicken Day.  Who decides such things?  Apparently no one, or perhaps more accurately anyone.  However, the people of National Day Calendar are happy to endorse your declaration and put it on their calendar, if you need outside validation.

Assuming the bona fides of National Fried Chicken Day, a patent lawyer’s mind turns to Colonel Harland Sanders, who obtained two patents on his methods and apparatus for preparing fried chicken: U.S. Patent No. 3,1 56,177 on Food Preheating, Cooking and Warming Device:

 and U.S. Patent No. 3245800 on Process of Producing Fried Chicken Under Pressure:


These are not just the patents of the day, but the patents of National Fried Chicken Day.


Have a Happy and Safe Fourth of July

Patented technology can improve the most mundane aspects of life and on July 4 we recognize some patents that inject an element of patriotism into our daily routine.  U.S. Patent No. D478,404 protects an American Patriotic Candy Cane:

U.S. Patent No. 7192168 protects a lighting display:

U.S. Patent No. D513768 protects Patriotic Themed Duct Tape:

U.S. Patent No. 8160936 protects a Patriotic American Shopping Network:

Finally, U.S. Patent No. D572517 protects a Patriotic Air Conditioner Cover:

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!


U.S. Patent No. 10,000,000 issued June 19, 2018 on Coherent LADAR Using Intra-Pixel Quadrature Detection.

At the current rate, we can expect utility patent number 11,000,000 in 2021.

Of course nerdy purists will point out that the 10,000,000 number does not take into account the X-patents — the 9957 (or so) patents that issued before it occurred to the Patent Office to begin numbering the patents in 1836.  The nerdiest of these purists will further point out that the 10,000,000 includes numbers for which patents were withdrawn from issue, and does not include a handful of “fractional” patents issued over the years.

Happy 209th Birthday President Lincoln

February 12 is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, which not that long ago warranted its own holiday.  Abraham Lincoln is the only president to earn a patent — U.S. Patent No. 6469 on Buoying Vessels of Shoals:

Lincoln was also the author of one of the pithier quotes about the patent system, : “added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius, in the discovery and production of new and useful things.”

However this was not Lincoln’s only brush with the patent system, and he has been celebrated in several patents that are worth dusting off on his 209th Birthday:

U.S. Patent No. D2983 protects this sculpture of Abraham Lincoln with General Grant and Secretary Stanton:

U.S. Patent No. 9403 protects an embroidery pattern featuring Lincoln:

U.S. Patent No. 22304 protects this spoon design featuring Lincoln’s home in Springfield, Illinois, and his tomb:

U.S. Patent No. D12634 protects the design of this drinking vessel, on which Lincoln shares the limelight with Garfield, the second president to be assassinated:

Independence Day Patents

Inventors are constantly working, and holidays are no exception.  In fact holidays seem to be a source of inspiration for many inventors, and Independence Day is no exception:

What says Independence Day better than the patriotic grill cover in U.S. Patent No. D49032?Perhaps the centennial medal of U.S. Patent No. D9103?Perhaps the centennial watch charm from U.S. Patent No. D7164:




Presidents Day Patents

Thomas Jefferson is the president most closely associated with the patents, although Abraham Lincoln is the only president to actually receive a patent. President’s day was established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington, and it is still officially called “Washington’s Birthday” by the federal government. In 1971 it was moved from February 22, Washington’s actual birthday, to the third Monday in February as part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which is when the popular name, “Presidents’ Day,” attached.  Although technically Washington’s Birthday, the day is also closely associated with Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday is also in February — February 12 — and is still celebrated in a number of U.S. states.

This post honors George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, both of whom have been frequently commemorated in the patents issued by the USPTO.

George Washington

U.S. Patent No. 537666

U.S. Patent No. D9161

U.S. Patent No. 21357

Although with some commemorations, it is hard to determine whether it is a positive or a negative tribute:

U.S. Patent No. D25387

Abraham Lincoln

U.S. Patent No. D2983 features President Lincoln

Of course, some commemorations are tackier than others:

U.S. Patent No. D12634

U.S. Patent No. D9403

U.S. Patent No. 1634713