U.S. patent numbered 10,000,000 was issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday.  Joseph Marron is the solo inventor of the “Coherent LADAR Using Intra-pixel Quadrature Detection” technology assigned to Raytheon.

Both the 1 Millionth and the 10 Millionth patent are, on a certain level, concerned with a basic need, transportation.  The 1 Millionth patent addressed shortcomings of those new-fangled pneumatic tires, which were replacing solid rubber tires, with an improved puncture resistant tire construction design.  Here, the 10 Millionth patent is directed to a laser detection and ranging method that can be used on self-driving cars which presumably are equipped with pneumatic tires!

At a time when less than 30% of all patents issued had only one inventor listed, and more than 45% have 3 or more inventors listed, the 10 Millionth patent lists just one inventor.

The increasing rate at which patents are being granted can be seen in the decreasing time between each millionth patent grant in the chart below.

Patent Issuance Progression Rate

Sam Burkholder is a member and intellectual property attorney at Capitol City TechLaw.  His practice covers a range of issues, including patent prosecution and counseling.  He can be reached at sburkholder@capcitytechlaw.com.