Medical Product Receives Milestone U.S. Patent

The U.S. patent office issued patent No. 8,000,000 on Tuesday. It went to Second Sight Medical Products for an invention the company says enhances visual perception for a certain kind of blindness. The first patent was issued in 1836 to Sen. John Ruggles, who was known as the "Father of the U.S. Patent office." It was for a cog mechanism in locomotives.

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DAVID GREENE, host:

And our last word in business today is a big number: eight million. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued patent number eight million yesterday. It went to Second Sight Medical Products for an invention the company says enhances visual perception for a certain kind of blindness.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

The product is called Argus Two. Still in clinical trials, it's a visual prosthetic that uses a tiny video camera in a patient's eyeglasses to send information to a small, wearable computer. That visual information is eventually transmitted to the brain.

GREENE: Patent number eight million will be awarded at a ceremony on the 8th of September at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. In case you're wondering, patent number one was issued in 1836 to Senator John Ruggles, who was known as the Father of the U.S. Patent office. It was for a cog mechanism in locomotives. Though there were inventions and patents before that, they just weren't given numbers.

And that is the business news from MORNING EDITION, on NPR News. I'm David Greene.

MONTAGNE: And I'm Renee Montagne.

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