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Pardon Us, Presidential Patents

by: David Nickelson, Director of Research

For most of us, Presidents Day means a slightly less-crowded commute or a long weekend with kids having an extra day off school. In the patent realm it offers a time to look at the influence past Presidents have had on the field.

Thomas Jefferson, then Secretary of State, is famously known as the examiner for the first granted US patent. American inventiveness however quickly outstripped Jefferson’s ability to keep up with incoming patent applications on top of his cabinet demands and led to systems that would eventually become the US Patent Office we all know today.

The only US President to obtain a patent to date was none other than Abraham Lincoln, who obtained US Patent 6,469 entitled ‘Manner of Buoying Vessels’ in 1849. The patent, filed on March 10, 1849 was granted on May 22, 1849, a period of just under 11 weeks. Don’t we wish we could get that type of response today!

Lincoln’s patent was evidently a solution to a problem he himself had encountered in piloting a flatboat some years earlier when his boat became hung up on a mill dam. While he would later shepherd the country through its greatest challenge, his analytical nature was on display in solving his flatboat dilemma.

We here at Techson hope you all have an enjoyable Presidents Day. If you’re like us and working hard for your clients, give us a call and see how we can help.