We are really happy that you’re here today. Thank you for joining us here in Austin. Many old friends here, many new
friends – we’re very excited to have you. We’re very excited to have folks
watching us online today. This is just really a great day. I’m Paul Rosenthal and the Acting Chief Communications Officer for the United States Patent and
Trademark Office, the USPTO. And we’re here today to recognize innovation and entrepreneurship. We’re here today to honor inventors. We’re here today to celebrate history and to make history, and we’re here today to put the
spotlight on a key facet of the American way of life. Specifically, we’re here to
celebrate patents. The United States has been issuing patents to inventors for well over 200 years and later this year, the USPTO is going to be issuing patent
number 10 million. In recognition of that milestone, we’re giving a whole new look to U.S. patents for only the second time in more than 100 years. And in a moment, you’re all going to see it for the first time. To help us tell this story, we’re joined today by the Commissioner for Patents, and also by the Director of the USPTO, whose signature is on these patents. We’re also joined by two accomplished inventors who will tell us their story and the role that patents
have played in their careers. So, to get the ball rolling, please welcome Commissioner for Patents, Drew Hirshfeld. [Applause] Thank you, Paul, for that very kind
introduction. It’s great to be here at South by Southwest. And I’m honored, as you heard from Paul, to be here with our new Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and the USPTO Director, Andrei Iancu. Also joining us is our National Inventors Hall of Fame inductee Bob Metcalfe, and Susann Keohane, an IBM master inventor. South by Southwest is all about
creativity and innovation. So I can think of no more fitting place to unveil our new patent design nor can I think of a more fitting time. Later this year and after more than two centuries of issuing patents, The USPTO will grant patent
number 10 million. Every day, the USPTO’s patent examiners carefully review thousands of patent applications. Our examiners are over 8,000 men and women
from all across America, with degrees in science and engineering. They examine the
newest ideas and breakthroughs, any of which could truly change the world.
Indeed, through U.S. history, inventors have transformed our society
with their inventive and innovative ideas: their intellectual property. And
they’ve protected them with patents. Think of names like Bell, Edison, DuPont,
Ford, Gillette, Kellogg, and Wright. And technologies such as the telephone,
electricity, and the airplane. The greatest technological advances come
from the creative minds of inventors and throughout history, their ideas have
helped create new jobs, businesses, and entire industries. They’ve had a profound
impact on the ways we live, and the ways we work. I can still remember how
thrilling it was when something that I knew would be impactful came across my
desk when I was a new patent examiner over 20 years ago.
I remember thinking to myself, “Wow. I can’t wait until I see what impacts this
has on society.” Most patent examiners at one point or another have experienced
that same feeling. We’re very proud of the work we do with inventors to help
them craft, shape, and define their rights, so their innovative ideas are properly
protected. The U.S. patent system serves as a reminder that our nation values and
continues to be built by those who are willing to take risks, challenge
traditions, push the boundaries of convention, and test new limits in design
and thought. So thank you all for being here to witness this very exciting
moment in the history of our great patent system and more to the point the
history of U.S. patents. Thank you. [Applause] So, how does a patent work and how did we go about creating a new design for it? Here’s a two-minute video with some of
the answers. A patent is truly a significant document both for the inventor and the public which enjoys the benefit of the discovery. The patent
provides the right to the inventor to exclude others from making, using, selling,
or importing their invention without their permission. It also clearly reflects their creativity, their ingenuity, dedication, and hard work. In the last 200 years, the patent cover has undergone over a dozen design changes.
Though, in the last century the design has only changed twice. We look to a lot
of the historic patent designs for inspiration, though I quickly realized
there was not a lot of information out there, and we really had to turn over
some rocks in order to gather enough examples for us to work from. Some of the
best examples we found were from the 19th century.
These were incredibly intricate, ornate documents from a bygone era. They looked
like what you’d expect to see on currency or stock certificates, and the designs
really conveyed the value of what they represented. Looking at these historic
designs it became clear that what we created would have to convey that same
sense of value. A team of USPTO designers combined efforts to create the new
patent cover. I asked each member of the team to design an improvement to the
existing patent cover, a classic version inspired by some of the historical
examples, and an anything-goes, clean sheet of paper approach. As designers a
lot of what we work on comes and goes very quickly. So to be able to work on
something of such historical significance is a once-in-a-career opportunity. These patent covers will persist for
generations in museum collections, in libraries, on the walls of an inventor’s great-grandchild. That’s something we’re all very proud of. Jeff Isaac’s the lead designer for the patent you’re gonna see in a moment. He’s right over here. Jeff, why don’t you give a wave? [Applause] So in a moment we’re gonna unveil that
design and then you’re gonna hear from our two guest inventors but first I’d
like to introduce you to the Undersecretary of Commerce for
Intellectual Property and the Director of the USPTO Andrei Iancu. [Applause] Thank you, Paul, and thank you everybody for coming here. New faces and old faces, special welcome
to Congressman Darrell Issa from California, the member of Congress with the most patents currently sitting. Thank you Darrell, [Applause] thank you for being here. It is my great pleasure to be here with all of you as we unveil a new design of the
United States Patent, a document steeped in America’s economic and cultural
history. The American patent system is as old as our nation. One of the earliest
laws passed by the first Congress of the United States was the Patent Act of 1790.
President George Washington signed the first U.S. patent on July 31, 1790. A copy
of it is right here, the left, to inventor Samuel Hopkins for making potash. After
issuing patents for almost 228 years, we will grant patent number 10 million just
a little bit later this year. Over that time and backed by our patent system
American ingenuity has been at the forefront of every major scientific and
technological revolution. Commissioner Hirshfeld mentioned some of our great
inventors like Edison, Bell, the Wright brothers. There of course have been many
others across industries and across time. We are privileged to have two of them
with us here today. Both brilliant and tenacious inventors and as a special
treat both local to Austin. Bob Metcalfe is professor of innovation
and merchants and fellow free-enterprise at the University of Texas here in
Austin. By the age of 10, Bob knew he wanted to become an electrical engineer
and to attend MIT. Well he did that and followed that up with a masters and a PhD
from Harvard. In 1972, Bob began working at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center where
he met electrical and radio engineer D.R. Boggs. With Boggs, Bob invented what came
to be known as the Ethernet, the local area network technology that turns pcs
into communication devices by linking them together across the globe.
Eventually the technology he invented would be used to link together more than
50 million PCs worldwide. In 1979, Bob left Xerox and founded 3M corporation.
Bob was awarded a National Medal of Technology by President George W. Bush in 2003 for his leadership in invention, standardization, and commercialization of
the Ethernet. Bob is a patent holder and in 2007 he was inducted into our
National Inventors Hall of Fame. We will hear from Bob in just a few minutes. We
are also honored to be joined here today by Susann Koehane. Susann holds a
bachelors degree in computer engineering from the University of
Florida and a masters in software engineering from the University of Texas
at Austin. Currently IBM’s global research leader
for the aging initiative here in Austin, Susann is an expert in enabling human
ability through emerging technologies. Her current research includes, among
other things, cognitive IOT sensor systems for
eldercare. Why does she do this? Well, because of her grandmother,
Susann tells, who suffered an aneurysm when she was in her 80’s and her
grandmother’s determination to learn to walk and talk again,
despite daunting challenges is what inspires Susann. For over 10 years she
has focused her research on accessible technology for people with disabilities
in the aging population. Her inventions combine cognitive technology, the
Internet of Things, and other emerging technologies to improve quality of life
for those in need. And, amazingly Susann is an IBM master inventor who is named
on a hundred and fourteen United States patents. We will hear from Susann
shortly as well. Actually, please join me in welcoming both Bob and Susann here
today. [Applause] They exemplify the brilliance of
American invention, working within the context of our intellectual property
system. It is no accident that all this fantastic innovation, continuously
flowing since the founding of our republic, happened here in the United
States where patent rights are written into our Constitution with the explicit
goal of promoting human progress. With American patents, humans made light, began to fly, enabled instant communications, treated disease and disability, and
generally, as was said of Thomas Edison pushed, “the whole world ahead in
its march to the highest civilization.” Our patents incentivize and protect these remarkable advances in the human
condition and our patents are an indelible record of these human
achievements forever new, forever urging us ahead. Yet unlike the inventions it
covers the design of the U.S. patent has changed
only once over the last 100 years. And now in 2018, with the issuance of our 10 millionth patent, it will be the second time. Our new cover, through design
typography and printing, is a forward-looking contemporary take on the
significance of what the document represents, with a particular emphasis on
the value of a patent, and its role in the future of our economic and cultural
growth. And, to reinforce the historical significance of the document and its
roots in the founding of the Republic, we included along with 19th century type,
some keywords from the Constitution’s progress clause.
Just imagine the inventions this new cover will document, new compounds that
treat disease, new processes that alleviate thirst and hunger, new machines
that take humans to other planets, new devices that can think and create on
their own, and it will document science and technology that we cannot even
contemplate today. This new cover will document our future. So now I’d like to
invite Commissioner for Patents Drew Hirshfeld who’s already up here,
inventors Bob Metcalfe and Susann Koehane to join me in unveiling our
brand-new patent design No peeking. [Laughter] [Applause] Ladies and gentlemen, the new design for
the U.S. patent that’ll debut later this year, with patent number 10 million. I would like now to invite National Medal of Technology winner and National
Inventors Hall of Fame inductee Bob Metcalfe to the podium. My first interaction with patents was going to the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center in
1972. That Research Center was paid for by revenue based on the patents on the
you, on the copier, Xerox copier. Then that building was full of, was filled
with some of the world’s first personal computers and I got the job of
connecting them together. And out of that came a thing called Ethernet. Right now
Ethernet is the plumbing of the internet and there’s about one, I’ve lost track,
but as one or two billion Ethernet ports shipped every year now. And I only get a
dollar for each one. [Laughter] The patent had an unusual history because shortly after
it’s, I say was filed in ’75, issued in ’77 which means it’s expired already so I
don’t get the dollar anymore. As if I ever did. [Laughter] And the we then decided to make
Ethernet into a standard to connect all the devices in the world into the
Internet. And the standards body I Triple E (IEEE) project 802 insisted that if we were
to make a standard we couldn’t charge royalties on our patent. We had to make
our patent available to anyone on a reasonable basis. So, Xerox agreed to
issue a worldwide perpetual non-exclusive license to the patent, the
Ethernet patent, for $1000. So that ended my dollar a port, but then something very
interesting happened. In agreeing to license this patent to anyone who wanted,
there were two stipulations in the agreement: to license this technology you
had to agree to conform to the industry standard, and to do your address administration through the facility that had been
developed for that by Xerox. And this cemented the standard that is it caused
a lot of people to focus their energy on developing a standard Ethernet as
opposed to variations on this patent and so today we, as I said, we’re now enjoying
the Internet and billions of connections provided, patented, and provided by
Ethernet. Thank you very much. (clapping) And now I’d like to invite inventor Susann Koehane of IBM to say a few words. [Applause] It’s quite impressive to follow Bob. I don’t feel like I should be here. I want to just give a little bit of a different
background. As a kid, I was always curious with how the world worked, and that’s how
I became an engineer and the first inventor I ever met was an internship
with IBM. His name is Nadine Malek and he’s actually still at IBM. And in his
office there was a U.S. Patent hanging on his wall. And of course I’m really
curious I want to know everything about it. He was an inventor. How did he get
his first patent? And when I left from that conversation was, I too could be an
inventor. And sometimes just opening the door to possibility is all you really
need to do for someone. So from that point on I never looked at the world the
same. Everything was a problem to be solved, every solution could be done
better. And I just always would tinker and think and event and brainstorm with
people at my company and say, “can we do something in this space? Can we make the
world better?” So I really enjoyed the patent process. I loved working through a
novel idea, trying to understand the implementation and really get into the
point of filing a patent application. I often tell tell people it’s like my
creative outlet in life but I have to tell you, to be
perfectly honest, I was horrible at it at first. I tried and tried and tried and I
really couldn’t find anything novel yet. You have to kind of refine your
skill and sometimes when you’re really bad at something, is when you become
really good at something. Failure is okay. And, as noted, I now have 114 patents
but it did take a lot of tries before I really kind of refined my skill and I’m
really lucky to work at a company that really fosters innovation. I highly
recommend mentors. I had many throughout my career especially in innovation and
now as an IBM master inventor, I am a mentor to many. And there’s nothing more
enjoyable than someone that knocks on my door and says, “you have a patent? How did
you get it?” And I can share with them my journey and help them achieve their
goals. So IBM inventors like myself we just reached our 25th consecutive year
of U.S. patent leadership.As a company we just crossed a hundred thousand patents.
That’s kind of incredible right? So I’m really confident that I’m gonna have one
of these new ones showing up in the mail and hopefully not just one, I hope I
get many, many more. So thank you so much. [Applause] Well folks, we don’t know yet what patent
number ten million is going to be or when it’s going to be issued this year
but we invite you to tune in and take a look at it as we get through 2018. In the
meantime, I want to thank our guest inventors who’ve joined us. I very much
want to thank Director Iancu and Commissioner Hirshfeld, and on behalf of
all of the employees of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, thank
you for joining us today and being part of this celebration of a big part of
American history. Thank you. [Applause]

New Patent Design Unveiling at SxSW
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11 thoughts on “New Patent Design Unveiling at SxSW

  • March 24, 2018 at 3:58 am

    I am surprised that there are no comments. That’s a pretty bland design.

  • July 22, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    He said Bob founded 3M (LOL :).  He meant "3Com".  3M was founded in 1897 (and incorporated in 1902).

  • October 27, 2018 at 10:23 pm


  • November 5, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    Lawyer firms with under activities as commune held child children
    Includes heavy servelence, it hackers and exclusion
    Einterteinmemt, sport, design and USA diplomacy rip Chris Stevens
    Cases goes internationally condemn denmark government cover up….

  • November 5, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    Yes design are not there without civil protection denmark

  • December 27, 2018 at 3:35 am


    4 minutes ago

    if you would like to see how the United States Patent and Trademark Office sided with the 9/11 terrorists, and cheated the people of New York City, and the people of the Tri-State region, and the people of the United States of America – out of rebuilding the skytop restaurant Windows On the World that was at the top of the previous World Trade Center which was destroyed on 9/11 take a look a these links posted below:

    It is appalling what passes for due process in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and a disgrace to this nation.

    In this matter, the United States Patent and Trademark Office joined arms with the terrorists – spewed their anti-business bile at Windows On the World, and confounded the re-building effort. Absolutely unbelievable. There are no words to express the disgrace, false and self-indulgent contrived legal reasoning, and the vulgarity of the interim and final opinions issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in this matter. Their disdain and contempt for business efforts, and their willingness to bend the law pretzel-fashion to fashion a sleazy jagged weapon to use against American business interests. Indulging in their sick bias against business people to join with the 9/11 terrorists in insulting the American people.



  • December 29, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    Great Design.

  • January 2, 2019 at 7:14 pm


  • January 2, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    Inventora FOLLICQUICK LLC Welcome , a nivel mundial !
    Mannagger the Marketing USAJOB , GLASSDOOR ,

  • January 14, 2019 at 3:14 am

    God Blessed America for having a great USPTO! 👍 up to all american made inventions!

  • July 13, 2019 at 5:42 am

    Awesome 👏 website and awesome knowledge on YouTube happy to be here


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