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This is helpful for anyone looking up patent dates. With a known patent number you can look up the original patent documents at the United States Patent Office.

1836..............1                
1837............110                
1838............546                
1839..........1,106                
1840..........1,465   1880.........223,211   1920........1,326,899   1960........2,919,443   2000........6,009,555
1841..........1,923   1881.........236,137   1921........1,364,063   1961........2,966,681   2001........6,167,569
1842..........2,413   1882.........251,685   1922........1,401,948   1962........3,015,103   2002........6,334,220
1843..........2,901   1883.........269,820   1923........1,440,362   1963........3,070,801   2003........6,502,244
1844..........3,395   1884.........291,016   1924........1,478,996   1964........3,116,487   2004........6,671,884
1845..........3,873   1885.........310,163   1925........1,521,590   1965........3,163,865   2005........6,836,899
1846..........4,348   1886.........333,494   1926........1,568,040   1966........3,226,729   2006........6,981,282
1847..........4,914   1887.........355,291   1927........1,612,700   1967........3,295,143   2007........7,155,746
1848..........5,409   1888.........375,720   1928........1,654,521   1968........3,360,800   2008........7,313,829
1849..........5,993   1889.........395,305   1929........1,696,897   1969........3,419,907   2009........7,472,428
1850..........6,981   1890.........418,665   1930........1,742,181   1970........3,487,470   2010........7,640,598
1851..........7,865   1891.........443,987   1931........l,787,424   1971........3,551,909   2011........7,861,317
1852..........8,622   1892.........466,315   1932........1,839,190   1972........3,631,539   2012........8,087,094
1853..........9,512   1893.........488,976   1933........1,892,663   1973........3,707,729   2013........8,341,762
1854.........10,358   1894.........511,744   1934........1,941,449   1974........3,781,914   2014........8,621,662
1855.........12,117   1895.........531,619   1935........1,985,878   1975........3,858,241   2015........8,925,112
1856.........14,009   1896.........552,502   1936........2,026,516   1976........3,930,271   2016........9,226,437
1857.........16,324   1897.........574,369   1937........2,066,309   1977........4,000,520   2017........9,532,496
1858.........19,010   1898.........596,467   1938........2,104,004   1978........4,065,812    
1859.........22,477   1899.........616,871   1939........2,142,080   1979........4,131,952    
1860.........26,642   1900.........640,167   1940........2,185,170   1980........4,180,867    
1861.........31,005   1901.........664,827   1941........2,227,418   1981........4,242,757    
1862.........34,045   1902.........690,385   1942........2,268,540   1982........4,308,622    
1863.........37,266   1903.........717,521   1943........2,307,007   1983........4,366,579    
1864.........41,047   1904.........748,567   1944........2,338,081   1984........4,423,523    
1865.........45,685   1905.........778,834   1945........2,366,154   1985........4,490,855    
1866.........51,784   1906.........808,618   1946........2,391,856   1986........4,562,596    
1867.........60,658   1907.........839,799   1947........2,413,675   1987........4,633,526    
1868.........72,959   1908.........875,679   1948........2,433,824   1988........4,716,594    
1869.........85,503   1909.........908,436   1949........2,457,797   1989........4,794.652    
1870.........98,460   1910.........945,010   1950........2,492,944   1990........4,890,335    
1871........110,617   1911.........980,178   1951........2,536,016   1991........4,980,927    
1872........122,304   1912.......1,013,095   1952........2,580,379   1992........5,077,836    
1873........134,504   1913.......1,049,326   1953........2,624,046   1993........5,175,886    
1874........146,120   1914.......1,083,267   1954........2,664,562   1994........5,274,846    
1875........158,350   1915.......1,123,212   1955........2,698,434   1995........5,377,359    
1876........171,641   1916.......1,166,419   1956........2,728,913   1996........5,479,658    
1877........185,813   1917.......1,210,389   1957........2,775,762   1997........5,589,860    
1878........198,733   1918.......1,251,458   1958........2,818,567   1998........5,704,062    
1879........211,078   1919.......1,290,027   1959........2,866,973   1999........5,855,021    

 

This section is to provide information about United States patents that would be useful to people interested in antiques. It is not the purpose of this document to provide information about how to obtain a patent. If you want general information about obtaining a patent, check out the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office home page at: http://www.uspto.gov/index.html, or call the Patent and Trademark general information line at (800) 786-9199.

BACKGROUND: Patents have been granted in some European countries (principally England and Italy) since about the 1600s. The United States began granting patents in 1790. It is unlikely that you will find a reference to patent protection on anything made in the 1700's or earlier. PATENT NUMBERS: As mentioned above, the United States started granting patents in 1790. However, no one saw fit to number the patents until 1836. Thus, there are 46 years of patents that fall outside the regular numbering system. This also means that patent number 1 was NOT the first U.S. patent. The vast majority of patents antique buffs are likely to encounter are in the regular numbering system that began in 1836. If there are no special letters before the number (or if the letters are only "US"), you have a normal "utility" patent and can order the patent by that number alone. If by chance your patent was granted before 1836 July 04, you will not likely be able to identify a patent number. If you do, it will be an "X-" number (e.g., X-4,963). However, copies of these patents can be ordered by citing the inventor's name and the patent date (year, month, and day), without the need for the number. Design patents (patents granted for the appearance of an object, rather than its function) are in a separate numbered series and begin with the letter "D" (e.g., D 142,030). Design patents may sound similar to copyright registrations, but they are quite distinct (that is a story for another time and place). Plant patents (not likely to be found by an antique buff) are also in a separate numbered series and begin with "P.P." (e.g., P.P. 392). An inventor's improvement to his own invention was, for a short time from 1838 to 1861, given a separate numbered series beginning with "A.I." (e.g., A.I. 278). If you happen to come across one of these numbers, you may also want to look up the original patent on which the improvement is based. Reissue patents (granted to correct defects in an original patent) are in a separate series beginning with "Re" (e.g., Re 1,611). Unlike some other countries, the U.S. gives patent numbers only for granted patents (applications have a different numbering system which becomes largely irrelevant once the patent is granted). Thus, when you see a U.S. patent number, it is for a granted patent.

GETTING COPIES OF PATENTS: If your antique has a patent number on it, you are in luck! The U.S. Patent Office has many patents available on line which you may retrieve directly from their site, you will find their site listed on our links page.You can order a copy of the patent from the patent office by sending the patent number(s) and a check (payable to the Assistant Commissioner for Patents) for $3.00 per patent (December 1995 price, no postage or handling charge) to:

          Box 9           Assistant Commissioner for Patents           Washington, DC  20231 
 
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