This Month in IP: June 2024

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

  • 1974: On June 25, Jack Kilby received a patent for the first handheld electronic calculator. Within the year, one in 10 Americans owned one, and its technological innovations paved the way for many of the electronic devices we use today. Kilby’s invention also established his company, Texas Instruments, as one of the world’s leading calculator manufacturers – which it remains today with a market capitalization of over $175 billion.
  • 1868: On June 23, Christopher Sholes, Carlos Glidden, and Samuel Soule received a patent for the first mechanical typewriter, making writing significantly faster. It marked a turning point in the modernization of businesses and created opportunities for women to enter the workforce as typists. While typewriters have today been supplanted by word processor programs, this seminal invention’s impact can be seen in the fact that over 60% of U.S. jobs require typing skills as of 2019.
  • 1834: On June 21, Cyrus McCormick received a patent for the mechanical reaper, one of the most influential inventions of the Industrial Revolution. McCormick’s reaper made farms nearly 10 times more productive and allowed farm laborers to enter other emerging industries. Its impact is still felt today, as the United States is the world’s top agricultural exporter – with more than $118 billion in exports as of 2019 – despite only one in 10 Americans working in the agricultural sector.
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