The 10 millionth utility patent was issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

The occasion was marked by a cover story in that month’s Inventors Digest. The milestone patent was for “Coherent Ladar Using Intra-Pixel Quadrature Detection.”

The patent application lists the inventor as Joseph Marron of Manhattan Beach, California; the technology is owned by Raytheon Co. in Waltham, Massachusetts. Ladar stands for LAdar Detection And Ranging. It is useful in fields that include autonomous vehicles, medical imaging devices, military defense systems, and space and undersea exploration.