This Month in IP: April 2024

Strong, consistent IP protections throughout U.S. history enabled the creation of the innovative and useful technologies that we use regularly today. From communication to entertainment, every aspect of our lives has benefited greatly from IP, as shown by these historical examples from the month of April:

  • 1973: On April 17, Ralph Baer received a patent for the Magnavox Odyssey, the first home video game console. Baer’s invention sparked the modern video game industry, which was valued at nearly $190 billion in 2021 and represents the largest entertainment sector worldwide, with more than three times the combined revenue of the music and movie industries. Today, video game consoles are present in more than half of all households in the United States.
  • 1961: On April 25, Robert Noyce received a patent for the first integrated circuit, or microchip, which revolutionized the electronics industry. With this patent, Noyce co-founded Intel, which today remains one of the 10 largest chipmakers in the world and has a $130 billion market cap. Meanwhile, the chips themselves are essential for devices including TVs, phones, and computers, and nearly 430 billion were produced in 2022 alone.
  • 1889: On April 2, Charles Hall received a patent for a new process for producing aluminum, which made the world’s most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust widely available for the first time. Aluminum has become a vital ingredient in numerous products, from beverage cans to airplanes and automobiles, and has grown into an industry worth nearly $230 billion globally. The United States produced 860,000 metric tons of the metal in 2022 alone.
Scroll to Top