The United States Patent and Trademark Office celebrates a milestone today as it issues United States Patent No. 10,000,000 to the Raytheon Company for “Coherent LADAR Using Intra-Pixel Quadrature Detection.” The patent is due to be signed by President Trump and will be the first patent to bear the USPTO’s new patent cover design.
Notably, the USPTO likely issued the “ten millionth” patent some time ago. The current serial numbering system was reset in the 19th Century after having issued numerous patents since 1790, restarting at Patent No. 1. Shortly thereafter, a fire at the USPTO destroyed many of the earliest patent records, leaving the precise count of issued patents unknown. Additionally, Design and Plant patents follow a separate numbering scheme.