12 Millionth Patent Awarded

The USPTO granted its 12 millionth utility patent on June 4. “Labeled Nucleotide Analogs, Reaction Mixtures, and Methods and Systems for Sequencing,” awarded to Pacific Bioscience in Menlo Park, California, involves a chemical reagent for use in DNA sequencing that produces faster and more accurate results.

Inventors listed on the patent are Lubomir Sebo, Gene Shen, Stephen Yue, Honey Osuna, Yuri Lapin, Louis Brogley, and Andrei Fedorov.

Since the patent numbering system began in 1836, the number of inventors applying for and receiving patents has increased at an exponential rate, with only three years between patent 11 million and patent 12 million.

From agriculture to transportation, consumer products to biomedical advances, patents reflect the leading-edge technologies of their time.

Pro Bono Aid Setting Records

Patent practitioners and law firms helping under-resourced inventors and small businesses

Following its release of the National Strategy for Inclusive Innovation, the USPTO is celebrating more record numbers of patent practitioners and firms participating in its Patent Pro Bono Program.

The program is a nationwide network of independently operated regional programs that match volunteer practitioners with inventors for the purpose of securing patent protection. Each regional program provides services for residents of one or more states; collectively, they cover the entire country.

This past year, the program featured more than 120 patent practitioners reporting 50 or more hours each of patent pro bono service to a regional patent pro bono program, up from more than 90 the previous year.

In addition, 28 law firms contributed significant hours to one or more participating regional programs, up from 25 the previous year. Their support resulted in more than 205 pro bono patent applications filed with the USPTO in 2023.

More than 4,400 inventors have been matched with a patent practitioner through the Patent Pro Bono Program.

The 2023 recipients of the Patent Pro Bono Achievement Certificate are listed on the USPTO’s Practitioner Recognition page and Firm Recognition Page. For more information, visit uspto.gov/ProBonoPatents and click on your state to identify a regional program in your area, or email [email protected].

BANKS TO LEAD MIDWEST REGIONAL OFFICE: Derris Banks has been appointed regional director of the USPTO’s Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional Office in Detroit. The office serves Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. 

Banks joined the USPTO in June 1994 as a patent examiner, examining applications related to semiconductor fabrication and abrasive tool manufacturing. He has championed inclusion efforts, such as leading a World Intellectual Property Organization delegation effort to incorporate more inclusive language in the International Patent Classification system, as well as developing a common classification system for female-related technology (FemTech).

MAP UPDATES LOCATIONS: The recently updated USPTO Locations map makes it easier to pinpoint regional office and Patent and Trademark Resource Center locations, and allows filtering by state and region. Each state also has a map with more specific location details and local inventor resources. See uspto.gov/about-us/uspto-office-locations.