World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Patent model

Article Id: WHEBN0000869774
Reproduction Date:

Title: Patent model  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: History of patent law, Patent drawing, 1836 U.S. Patent Office fire, INPEX, X-Patent
Collection: History of Patent Law, United States Patent Law
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Patent model

Patent model of Eli Whitney’s cotton gin.

A patent model was a scratch-built miniature model no larger than 12" by 12" by 12" (approximately 30 cm by 30 cm by 30 cm) that showed how an invention works. It was one of the most interesting early features of the United States patent system.[1]

Since most early inventors were ordinary people without technological or legal training, it was difficult for them to submit formal patent applications which require the novel features of an invention to be described using words and a number of diagrams. Actually, the patent system then was very crude by today's standards. It was a good idea for these amateur inventors to submit a model with a brief explanation or drawing of it.


  • History 1
  • Working model 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6


In the US, patent models were required from 1790 to 1880.[2] The United States Congress abolished the legal requirement for them in 1870, but the U.S. Patent Office (USPTO) kept the requirement until 1880.[3]

On July 31, 1790 inventor Samuel Hopkins of Pittsford, Vermont became the first person to be issued a patent in the United States. His patented invention was an improvement in the "making of Pot Ash by a new apparatus & process." These earliest patent law required that a working model of each invention be produced in miniature.

Some inventors still willingly submitted models at the turn of the twentieth century. In some cases, an inventor may still want to present a "working model" as an evidence to prove actual reduction to practice in an interference proceeding. In some jurisdictions patent models stayed an aid to demonstrate the operation of the invention. In applications involving genetics, samples of genetic material or DNA sequences may be required.

Working model

The models were sold off by the patent office in 1925 and were purchased by Sir [4]

See also


  1. ^ a b Byers, Kim. Patent Models: Icons of Innovation, USPTO, February 11, 2002. Retrieved September 11, 2010.
  2. ^ Riordan, Teresa. Patent Models' Strange Odyssey, New York Times, February 18, 2002.
  3. ^ A Simple Fix for the US Patent System: The Legal Requirement For Working Models, KeelyNet website. Retrieved September 12, 2010.
  4. ^ a b PatentModel website

Further reading

  • Janssen, Barbara Suit. Patent Models Index: Guide to the Collections of the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Contributions to History and Technology, no. 54. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, 2010. (A complete, full-color, 2-volume index of the more than 10,000 original patent models now housed in the collections of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.)

External links

  • The Rothschild Petersen Patent Model Museum
  • The patent model of Alexander Graham Bell's No. 174,465 invention
  • Patent model windmill c.1860-70
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.