The Great Eight – Eight Wonders of the World of Patents

It pays to be unique, which is why these inventors decided to patent their creations

A patent grants inventors’ exclusive rights to any original work for many years. Since their implementation, patents have helped businesses grow significantly. Inventors, too, benefit from patents, as it takes them years and plenty of money to develop a product.

Did you know that the first recorded patent was awarded in the 15th century? It went to Italian architect and designer Filippo Brunelleschi in 1421, for a boat that transported marble on the river Arno.

Since then, patents have been awarded to some of the more famous inventions that have touched our lives. Here are eight famous patent inventions without which our lives would be incomplete.

1. The Lightbulb

The electric lightbulb is perhaps one of the most famous patented inventions known to humankind. It was awarded to Thomas Alva Edison in the year 1878. However, an English inventor called Joseph Swan had received a patent for a similar product in England at the same time. Later, the two joined hands to form Edison & Swan United Electric Light Company. Edison had 1,093 patents, including the phonograph (the precursor of the gramophone and the record player) and the Dictaphone.

2. The Internal Combustion Engine

In today’s day and age, it is impossible to imagine how we would we function without cars, buses, and trains. These vehicles operate through an internal combustion engine. The first internal combustion engine was patented in 1823 by Samuel Brown and used to pump water. Nikolaus Otto patented the compressed-charge four-stroke engine in 1876, and the two-stroke engine was patented by Karl Benz in 1879. A definite boon for movement!

3. The Telephone

The first telephone was invented and patented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876. Bell went on to cofound the American Telephone & Telegraph Company (AT&T). Later, the company expanded to control all telecommunications and become the world’s most significant in the industry and is an industry behemoth today.

4. The Computer

The first modern computer to be given a patent was the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC). The patent went to John Mauchly and J Presper Eckert in 1973. However, a US court invalidated the patent over the claim that the Atanasoff–Berry Computer (ABC), developed in the 1940s, came first. However, this computer was not programmable. One of the first commercially successful computers was the Apple II, which was invented by Steve Wozniak and patented by Apple Computers Inc in 1977.

5. Bluetooth

Despite the popularity of mobile phones having Wi-Fi connectivity, people still opt for Bluetooth as an option for data transfer. Invented in 1994 by Jaap Haartsen, Bluetooth technology allows nearby electronic devices to connect using low-power, ultra-high-frequency waves. Today, Bluetooth is used in almost every handheld device for multimedia transfer and reception.

6. The Maglev

Among the more interesting patent innovations, was the Maglev or magnetic levitation used to propel trains. The first patent for Maglev went to Brookhaven National Laboratory (US), in 1968. Its researchers James Powell and Gordon Danby came up with the concept of using magnets to propel trains.

7. The FireEye Malware System

Computer viruses are a bane to the information technology (IT) industry, as well as to users. The first system to detect such viruses was the FireEye Malware Protection System, which was patented by Ashar Aziz in the March of 2005.

8. The Google PageRank

Another famous example of patents is Google PageRank. Larry Page developed it in 1998. It gets its name from his surname ‘Page’. It calculates the importance of a webpage by counting the number and quality of links attached to it.

Identifiable examples from across the world demonstrate the criticality of patents in the world. Patents give individuals exclusive rights to their inventions, and through these rights, you have a strong market position. This leads to fueling the fire for innovation. Finally, patents provide a positive image for your enterprise, which can be useful for building a business.


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