The road to this landmark figure has been long, starting in the fifteenth century when the Crown granted monopolies to manufacturers and traders. Henry VI granted the earliest known English patent for invention to John of Utynam in 1449 which gave him a twenty year monopoly for a method of making stained glass. However, patents were not numbered until 1852 when the patent system was overhauled. The first numbered English patent, 1/1617, was granted in 1852 to Rathburn & Burgess for “Engraving and printing Maps, Plans &c”.
Interesting patents since then include in 1901 the patent to produce “Meccano”; in 1924 a patent covering “telegraphy” and in 1966 a patent to cover a “built in flashlight exposure device for a camera” and in 1998 a patent to cover the process of “nuclear transfer” which allowed the first mammal to be cloned – Dolly the sheep!
And Patent Number GB2500000?
Submitted by Liverpool John Moores University for “Microwave monitoring using an electrically conductive textile!”
If you think you have an idea which could be patented or covered by any other kind of Intellectual Property Rights, you may be interested in joining the BIC at its next workshop entitled “What IP to you Own?” on 7 November 2013 in Stafford.