CodePen - timeline

Intellectual Property Timeline

1700 to 1900

1787

The 1787 U.S. Constitution laid the groundwork for granting patent rights to inventors in Article One, section 8, clause 8.

1790

A year after the constitution was ratified came America’s first Patent Act, on April 10, 1790.

1790

On July 31, 1790, the First US Patent issued to Samuel Hopkins for an improvement "in the making Pot ash and Pearl ash by a new Apparatus and Process."

1790

The Copyright Act of 1790 granted American authors the right to print, re-print, or publish their work for a period of 14 years and to renew for another fourteen.

1834

Wheaten v. Peters: involved the official reporter of U.S. Supreme Court decisions republishing the previous reporter's work. The opinion by Justice McLean emphasized that patents and copyrights are exclusive works of limited duration.

1836

The USPTO is created for the first time, then named the U.S. Patent Office.

1841

In Folsom v. Marsh, the owner of a collection of George Washington’s letters sued Charles Upham for using letters in their entirety in a volume on Washington's life. The Supreme Court's definition of what constituted a “justifiable use of the original materials” formed the basis of the “fair use” doctrine.

1881

Trademark legislation is passed based on commerce clause of the Constitution. Provision is made for the registration of trademarks to be used in commerce with foreign nations and with the Indian tribes. No provision is made for interstate commerce.

1883

First international trademark agreement was reached at the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. The countries involved in this convention agreed to provide the same protections regarding marks that they provide to their own nationals.

1884

The Supreme Court concluded that photographs could be copyrighted. (Burrow-Giles Lithographic Co. v. Sarony, 111 U.S. 53 (1884)). Pictured is the subject of the lawsuit, Oscar Wilde No. 18 by Napoleon Sarony (1882).

1884

While the U.S. became a signatory in 1988, the Berne Convention provided for international recognition of copyright.

1887

Coca-cola is trademarked.

1895

In the same year that Quaker Oats became a trademark, the “road engine automobile” was patented.