Inventions, Patents, and Copyrights

A Landing Page and Brief Summary for our "Today in the History" Articles

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. Obviously, we can’t 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, well, like 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. Choose 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.

Notable Inventions by Month of Copyright or Patent

Throughout history, each month celebrates the birth of its own share of patents and trademarks. Here are just some of the many examples to whet your appetite.

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

February features the invention of the washing machine in 1827, the patent of the phonograph to Thomas Edison in 1878, and the registration of the SUNMAID raisins trademark in 1917.

March boasts the invention of the hula-hoop in 1963, the patent of aspirin in 1899, the movie “To Kill a Mockingbird” in 1963, and maybe the granddaddy of them all, the telephone in 1876.

April has the invention of skates in 1869.

May had a huge month with patents for the first lawn mower in 1831, the helicopter in 1943, and the first Barbie doll registered as a trademark in 1958.

In June, the name New York Rangers (1969) was registered. And what would going to the movies be like without Good and Plenty licorice (1928)?

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 finally officially owned the phrase, “What’s Up, Doc?”

In August 1941, the first Jeep ever rolled off the assembly line, and in another car connection, the Ford trademark was registered in August 1909, while one of the greatest rock songs of all time, the Beatles’ “Hey Jude,” was copyrighted in 1969—what a month!

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

October has some pretty big inventions: The Singer sewing machine was patented in 1855, the Pizza Hut name was registered as a trademark in 1991, and “Happy Birthday to You,” the song that marks everyone’s annual passage around the sun, was copyrighted in 1893.

In November, there was a patent for Kermit the Frog on Nov. 2, 1955. The first Schick razor was licensed in November 1928, and Trivial Pursuit was born in November 1981

December can brag about Scrabble being trademarked and patented in 1948, and Chiclets gum trademarked around 1900.