Thursday, August 04, 2005

Invention intervention--fixing the patent system | CNET News.com

Patent system's problems defy easy solutions
By Michael Kanellos
August 4, 2005

In the early 1800s, the U.S. patent office was housed at a converted hotel in Washington, D.C., and when applications were approved, a clerk would ride the agency's pony across town to get the president's signature on them.

Reliance on the horse was a sign of the 'primitive state of the country and of the patent office at the time, where the quickest way to deliver messages around the city of Washington was by a boy on a pony,' according to 'The Patent Office Pony,' by Kenneth W. Dobyns. He also writes that in 1835, the office issued 757 patents."
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