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November 2011

US Patent Office Celebrates Steve Jobs and His Patents

US Patent and Trademark Office opens new exhibit, "The Patents and Trademarks of Steve Jobs: Art and Technology that Changed the World."

If you're an Apple fan, or just love the magic of industrial design, and you're going to be in Washington this fall, head over to the suburbs for a treat.

Less than six weeks after Steve Jobs' death on October 5, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is celebrating the Apple co-founder's life as an intellectual property genius. It's fitting, of course, given the number of patents and trademarks he was involved with, and his stature as one of the world's highest profile inventors and innovators.

 

An Edison of the 21st Century

Many of the memorials and obituaries immediately published after his death referred to him as the "Edison of our time". The new exhibit, which opens Nov. 16 at the USPTO's campus in Alexandria, VA, certainly confirms this image, with good reason. It's a celebration of a life spent innovating, refining and protecting ideas.

The exhibit, located on the ground floor of the Madison Building, features more than 300 patents that bear Jobs' name. You'll find dozens of the Intellectual Property breakthroughs that ended up in Apple's iPhone, MacBook, iPod and iPad product lines, and made it earlier this year the most valuable company in the world. The exhibit also features many of the trademarks and visual graphics that have made the Apple brand so recognizable around the world. Without these patents and trademarks, Apple would have had a much harder path en route to its position at the top of the music, digital media, communications, computing and entertainment industries.

 

The World's Biggest iPhone Collection?

The USPTO collaborated with Invent Now, Inc., the non-profit behind the National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum, to mount the exhibit. They did a great job. The exhibit stands in the middle of the Madison Building's atrium as a large cluster of what is, arguably, Apple's most successful product. While the iconic lines of the iPhone may enclose summaries of many of Jobs' patents, it's easy to see that there wasn't much restraint to his imagination.

"The Patents and Trademarks of Steve Jobs: Art and Technology that Changed the World" is open until January 15, 2012. Admission is free.

 

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