The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) said it has issued US patent number 10 million.
“More than just a number, patent 10 million celebrates the rich history and strength of the American intellectual property system dating back to the first U.S. patent, signed 228 years ago by George Washington on July 31, 1790, and issued to Samuel Hopkins for a process of making potash, an ingredient used in fertilizer,” said the USPTO.
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said: “Innovation has been the lifeblood of this country since its founding.
“Our patent system’s importance to the daily lives of every American has never been greater.
“Given the rapid pace of change, we know that it will not take another 228 years to achieve the next 10-million-patent milestone.”
The USPTO said patent number 10 million, issued for “Coherent Ladar Using Intra-Pixel Quadrature Detection” symbolizes “the breadth of American invention, with applications in such varied fields as autonomous vehicles, medical imaging devices, military defense systems, and space and undersea exploration.”
The patent was invented by Joseph Marron and is owned by Raytheon Company.
“This patent represents one of ten million steps on a continuum of human accomplishment launched when our Founding Fathers provided for intellectual property protection in our Constitution,” said Andrei Iancu, Director of the USPTO.
“Some of the greatest leaps humanity has made have been fueled by our greatest inventors, Americans who have changed the course of history with their brilliance and dogged perseverance.”
Patent number 10 million is the first to receive a new patent cover design (pictured).