US patents: the 10,000,000th!

The protection of innovation through patents is seeing rapid growth. Example at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  

US Patent No. 10,000,000 was issued last week, just three years after No. 9,000,000. This is a patent awarded to Raytheon Co for a laser detection system  with applications in medical imaging devices, autonomous vehicles etc.

The number of US patents has increased by 1 million since 2015 and by 3 million since 2006. It took 200 years for the total number to reach 5 million in 1991 and only 27 years to double from that number.

Despite recent changes to the US legislation and legal developments making it more difficult to patent certain techniques, the vitality of the system shows that manufacturers are still interested in protecting their inventions.

The dramatic acceleration of the number of patents is due mainly to:

  • the growing demographics resulting in more people being able to develop innovations
  • the rapid advances in technologies which are becoming much more complex, leading to more applications for a given product
  • the tendency to seek patent protection for smaller incremental technological advances than previously.

Experts estimate that it will take less than 3 years to achieve a million more patents.

Click here for more information on Sirris’s intellectual property services.