This Month in IP: July 2023

C4IP is recognizing patents, copyrights, and trademarks registered during the month of July for historic inventions that changed their industries and the way we live today.

1952: On July 1, the trademark for “Silly Putty” was registered. Silly Putty emerged as one of the most beloved toys of the 20th century. As its popularity soared, individuals began discovering more practical applications — ranging from stabilizing wobbly furniture to keeping astronauts’ tools securely in place on the Apollo 8 mission. Since 1950, over 300 million units of Silly Putty eggs have been sold.

1933: On July 4, American physicist William Coolidge received a patent for a new type of x-ray tube, now known as the Coolidge tube. Coolidge’s work enabled the safe use of x-rays for medical purposes. Today, 7 out of 10 Americans receive an x-ray each year, and the global market for x-ray equipment and devices is valued at over $15 billion.

1878: On July 16, Thaddeus Hyatt received a patent for an improved version of reinforced concrete. Hyatt’s innovation was a major contributor to the popularization of concrete, which became a common building material for infrastructure, residential buildings, and high-rises in the early 20th century. Today, an estimated 14 billion cubic meters of concrete is in use globally, and the global concrete and cement market is valued at $440 billion.

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