Today in History: Inventions, Patents, and Copyrights

Invention

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A vast number of patents, trademarks, and copyrights are established on any given day in history, but each day of the year has at least one famous invention that was officially recognized on that day. It's not possible to go into all 365 days of the year in this article, so let it serve as a guide for navigating our calendar of famous inventions.

You might think the history of business, like getting copyrights, patents, and trademarks, is about as exciting as watching paint dry. However, you might be surprised at how many household names and items you’re familiar with or use in your daily life. Peruse one of the months below and explore exactly what happened on each day of history as it relates to the creation of patents, copyrights, and inventions.

January Through March Patents

Photograph of Thomas Edison with an early phonograph.
Thomas Edison with his phonograph, which was patented in February 1878.

Getty Images

In January, Willy Wonka was registered as a trademark in 1972, as was the Whopper burger in 1965, Campbell’s Soup in 1906, and Coca-Cola in 1893.

February features the patent of the washing machine in 1827, the patent of the phonograph to Thomas Edison in 1878, and the registration of Sun-Maid (raisins) trademark in 1917.

March boasts the patent of the Hula-Hoop in 1963, the patent of aspirin in 1899, and maybe the granddaddy of them all, the telephone, patented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876.

Patents: April–June

A helicopter during flight.
The helicopter received its patent in May 1943.

Capture / Getty Images

April got people moving with the invention of four-wheeled roller skates in 1863.

In May, the helicopter was patented in 1943, and the first Barbie doll was registered as a trademark in 1958.

In June, Christopher Latham Sholes’ version of the typewriter received a patent in 1868 and was the first to be commercially mass-produced a year later as the Remington Model 1. And how would anyone be able to satisfy a chocolate craving without the Hershey milk chocolate bar, which was first trademarked in 1906?

Patents: July–September

Silly Putty
Silly Putty was granted a patent in July 1952.

University of the Fraser Valley / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

July saw the copyright of the name for that fun stuff known as Silly Putty (1952), the bane to all moms, and in July 1988, Bugs Bunny officially owned the phrase, “What’s Up, Doc?”

In August 1941, the first Jeep rolled off the assembly line, the Ford trademark was registered in August 1909, and The Beatles’ “Hey Jude,” was copyrighted in August 1968.

September was mostly quiet, except for one thing: The first major book to be printed using movable type, the Guttenberg Bible, was published in 1452.

End-of-the-Year Patents

board game party night
Scrabble earned its patent in December 1948.

The Spruce / Margot Cavin

In October, lawyer John J. Loud received a patent for the ballpoint pen in 1888, a handy writing tool that would see a lot of refinement over the years. And, meals became even more special in 1958 when Ore-Ida received its official trademark for their deep-fried Tater Tots.

In November, the first electric razor was patented by Jacob Schick in 1928, while Trivial Pursuit was trademarked in November 1981.

December can brag about Scrabble being trademarked in 1948, and gum chewers can thank William Finely Semple, who filed a patent for chewing gum in 1869.

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Bellis, Mary. "Today in History: Inventions, Patents, and Copyrights." ThoughtCo, Feb. 28, 2021, thoughtco.com/today-in-history-1992507. Bellis, Mary. (2021, February 28). Today in History: Inventions, Patents, and Copyrights. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/today-in-history-1992507 Bellis, Mary. "Today in History: Inventions, Patents, and Copyrights." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/today-in-history-1992507 (accessed October 27, 2021).