Patents are expensive. Patents are important. You might think, therefore, that it would be easy to determine how long a patent lasts, right?
Sadly, you’d be wrong.
In the past, it was pretty easy: The first US patent was granted 227 years ago today, on July 31, 1790. It had a “term not exceeding fourteen years” as can be plainly seen at 1 Stat. 110.
Further analysis and a copy of the full report, “Accurately determining patent expiration dates: Why it’s harder than you may think” are available here.