On May 22, 1849, President Abraham Lincoln was granted the patent for MANNER OF BUOYING VESSELS OVER SHOALS U.S. Patent No. 6,469.

This patent was designed to improve the “manner of combining adjustable buoyant air chambers with a steamboat or other vessel for the purpose of enabling their draught of water to be readily lessened to enable tom to pass over bars, or through shallow water, without discharging their cargoes.”

Abraham Lincoln was one of the biggest supporters of labor and intellectual property; he was once quoted as saying “I always thought that the man who made the corn should also eat the corn.”

As an attorney and patent holder himself, Lincoln was involved in all facets of intellectual property from invention to prosecution. He had a profound understanding of the need for patent and copyright protection and the ability to connect intellectual property to a person’s right to the fruits of their labor.

In many of Lincoln’s speeches, he discussed and endorsed the need for greater protection of intellectual property rights. In his 1858 lecture on Discoveries and Inventions, Lincoln stated “man is not the only animal who labors; but he is the only one who improves his workmanship. This improvement, he effects by Discoveries, and Inventions.” This lecture detailed the many achievements that had been accomplished in the areas of “writing and of printing, the discovery of America, and the introduction of Patent laws.” Lincoln commended the patent system, stating that before patent laws were introduced “any man might instantly use what another had invented; so that the inventor had no special advantage from his own invention. The patent system changed this; secured to the inventor, for a limited time, the exclusive use of his invention; and thereby added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius, in the discovery and production of new and useful things.”

Suiter Swantz IP is a full-service intellectual property law firm, based in Omaha, NE, serving all of NebraskaIowa, and South Dakota. If you have any intellectual property questions or need assistance with any patenttrademark, or copyright matters and would like to speak with one of our patent attorneys please contact us.