US Patent & Trademark Office

It would be unwise to plagiarize from the publications or website of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). They’re self-proclaimed experts in the business of protecting intellectual property.

But you’d be an expert too, if you had issued over 8 million patents during your lifetime. Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, of the Constitution mandates that the government "promote the progress of science and the useful arts by securing for limited times to inventors the exclusive right to their respective discoveries.” The Patent Office attempts to do just that by issuing over 150,000 trademarks and patents to individuals and companies around the world each year.

The USPTO contends that the legal protection of new ideas, innovation, and creativity helps guarantee a vibrant marketplace and a healthy economy in the U.S.  To this end, the USPTO employs a staff of 8,000. Though most of those employees are attorneys, engineers, and scientists, a few are curators running the National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum located at the USPTO’s Alexandria, Virginia campus.

Popular opinion has long heralded Thomas Edison as the most prolific US patent holder. But an automated search of the USPTO database reveals an obscure Australian scientist and serial entrepreneur as the real patent champion. Kia Silverbrook has over 4,400 and counting.

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