Calling all inventors! On this date in 1790, the first U.S. patent was granted. The patent was signed by George Washington and granted to Samuel Hopkins for the process of making potash, an element used for making fertilizer.
Since 1790 many, many, many more patents have been granted, and some say that patents are being abused.
Should we reform the U.S. patent system? Check out Cato research on the topic and decide for yourself:
- Patent Reform in the United States: Lessons Learned, Regulation Magazine article
- Of Patents and Property, Regulation Magazine article
- Unleashing Innovation, essay from Cato Conference The Future of U.S. Economic Growth
- Our Mangled Patent System, Podcast
- U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: FAIL, Cato@Liberty Blog
- Specialist Patent Courts Are Part of the Problem, Cato Commentary
- Patents and Public Choice, Cato Unbound issue