Thursday, February 09, 2006

U.S. Patent 7,000,000 on Feb. 14?

If the USPTO issues 3,155 or more utility patents next Tuesday, Feb. 14, it is likely that they will include patent number 7,000,000. The UPSTO issued 3,040 utility patents on Feb. 7. The highest numbered utility patent is currently 6,996,845. Given the timing, one has to wonder what the subject of the milestone patent will be...

Perhaps a new formulation for fat-free chocolate? A method of identifying potential mates on-line? A recordable Valentine's Day card with a built-in video display and speakers?

Patent No. 6,000,000 was granted on December 7, 1999 to inventors Jeff Hawkins and Michael Albanese. Their invention was a system for synchronizing files on two computers, the core technology of the Palm Pilot PDA, the first commercially successful hand-held electronic organizer. Other million-milestone patents include:

5,000,000 (March 19, 1991)
Ethanol production by Escherichia coli strains co-expressing Zymomonas PDC and ADH genes

4,000,000 (Decembre 28, 1976)
Process for recycling asphalt-aggregate compositions

3,000,000 (September 12, 1961)
Automatic reading system (barcodes)

2,000,000 (April 30, 1935)
Vehicle wheel construction

1,000,000 (August 8, 1911)
Vehicle tire