Intellectual Property Power

National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum

Since its creation in the Constitution, the American intellectual property system has promoted “the Progress of Science and the useful Arts”. The protection it grants to inventors through patents and trademarks is integral to our economy and culture of innovation.

Eastman Interchangeable Camera in IPP Exhibit, National Inventors Hall of Fame, From the collection of: National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum
Camera Evolution
The word photography means "drawing with light". Since the invention of the camera, people have been drawing with light at an ever-increasing rate, first onto glass, then film, then microchips. It is estimated that every two minutes, we take more pictures than the whole of humanity in the 19th Century. The evolution of camera technology - aided by the power of intellectual property - has made this photographic revolution possible.
Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera in IPP Exhibit, National Inventors Hall of Fame, From the collection of: National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum

SX-70 Land Camera
1972

Inventor Edwin Land introduced the first Polaroid® instant camera in 1948.

Many refinements throughout the next two decades developed into this fully automatic, motorized, folding camera the Life magazine called "the most amazing camera ever produced."

Patent No. 2543181
Granted February 27, 1951

Sasson Digital Camera Display in IPP Exhibit, National Inventors Hall of Fame, From the collection of: National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum

Sasson Digital Camera
1975

This is the world's first digital camera and its inventor, Steve Sasson.

While at Kodak, Sasson designed and built this digital camera using a CCD and parts scavenged from other devices and took a giant leap in the evolution of photography.

Patent No. 4131919
Granted December 26, 1978

Kodak Ecam in IPP Exhibit, National Inventors Hall of Fame, From the collection of: National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum

Kodak Ecam
1989

The Kodak Ecam merged the familiarity and functions of a standard film single-lens reflex (SLR) camera with the benefits of rapidly-advancing digital technology.

All modern DSLR cameras use features originated in this camera, including the use of JPEGs for image storage.

Patent No. 5016107
Granted May 14, 1991

CMOS Image Sensor in IPP Exhibit, National Inventors Hall of Fame, From the collection of: National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum

CMOS Image Sensor
1994

Eric R. Fossum (pictured) led the team at NASA that created this miniaturized, low-power, camera technology intended for interplanetary spacecraft. This camera-on-a-chip might travel through space, but it is probably in your pocket too - over 90% of camera phones use one.

The CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) technology used in this and most microchips today was patented in 1967 by Frank Wanlass.

Patent No. 5471515
Granted November 28, 1995

50 Years of the Ford Mustang in IPP Exhibit, National Inventors Hall of Fame, From the collection of: National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum
50 Years of Innovation
Step into the driver’s seat of a custom-designed 1965 Ford Mustang merged with a 2015 Ford Mustang to get a firsthand view into how far automotive design and technology has come in 50 years – and what the next half-century may bring for the automobile.
50 Years of the Ford Mustang in IPP Exhibit, National Inventors Hall of Fame, From the collection of: National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum
50 Years of the Ford Mustang in IPP Exhibit, National Inventors Hall of Fame, From the collection of: National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum
50 Years of the Ford Mustang in IPP Exhibit, National Inventors Hall of Fame, From the collection of: National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum
Edison dynamo Patent Model, From the collection of: National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum
Inventive Origins
America's founders sought to harness the power of innovation and created the first modern intellectual property system. For the first time, a person of average means could apply for a patent, an examination process was required, and patented knowledge was quickly made available to the public. American intellectual property laws have propelled us through the Industrial and Digital Revolutions and are primed for the next one.
Patent Models in IPP Exhibit, National Inventors Hall of Fame, From the collection of: National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum

Bolt Cutters
Patent No. 119,231
Patented September 26, 1871
The Bolt Cutters model was taken from the debris of the United States Patent and Trademark Office fire Sept. 24, 1877. This fire destroyed more than 80,000 patent models, making the Bolt Cutters model one of the rare survivors.

Carpet Beater and Cleaner
Patent No. 27780
Patented April 10,1860

These patent models were donated in loving memory of Leonard I. Bloom, Esq. Patent Attorney

A History of Patent Designs from 1X to 10 Million, National Inventors Hall of Fame, From the collection of: National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum

A History of Patent Designs
1X to 10 Million

The United States Patent and Trademark Office issued patent number 10 million on June 19, 2018. In conjunction, a new patent cover design was unveiled, first bound to utility patent number 10 million.

This abridged timeline features patent cover designs from the last 228, dating back to 1790.

Brands are All Around Us, National Inventors Hall of Fame, From the collection of: National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum
Trademarks: The Art of Commerce
The purpose of a trademark is to distinguish one maker’s goods or services from another's. That is its job, but these works of creativity can also be a lot of fun. While trademarks are often words or symbols, they can also be shapes, colors, sounds, or scents. As intellectual property, they serve to protect the rights of trademark owners and prevent confusion among consumers. Their value to both parties is immeasurable.
INTA Display in IPP Exhibit, National Inventors Hall of Fame, From the collection of: National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum

The Power of Trademarks

How can consumers educate themselves about trademarks and protect themselves from counterfeit goods?

This interactive exhibit — “The Power of Trademarks,” sponsored by the International Trademark Association (INTA) — is designed to help visitors recognize authentic consumer products. Companies such as Bose Corp., Crocs Inc., Michael Kors, NBA Properties Inc., Pfizer Inc., and The Procter & Gamble Co. contributed to the exhibit’s design and content.

Trademarked Characters from the Warren Dotz Collection, Warren Dotz, From the collection of: National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum

What a Character!

Some of the most well-known and long-lived trademarked advertising icons are on display from the collection of Warren Dotz.

The Many Aspects of Branding, National Inventors Hall of Fame, From the collection of: National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum
Qualcomm Display in IPP Exhibit, National Inventors Hall of Fame, From the collection of: National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum
Advancing Connectivity
The history of invention is a story of one idea inspiring others, one breakthrough leading to many more. Qualcomm's innovations have driven the evolution of wireless communication for more than thirty years. Their breakthroughs were the bridge between the era of heavy, expensive, unreliable mobile phones and today's affordable, accessible, and dependable technologies.
Intellectual Property Power Exhibit, National Inventors Hall of Fame, From the collection of: National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum

Thank you to Qualcomm, Ford, INTA and the George Eastman Museum for making this exhibit possible.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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