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The First English Patent for an Invention

1449
<p>Henry VI, purchased by the National Portrait Gallery in 1930.</p>

Henry VI, purchased by the National Portrait Gallery in 1930.

 

In 1449 Henry VI of England granted the earliest known English patent for invention to Flemish-born John of Utynam through an open letter marked with the King's Great Seal called a Letter Patent.

The patent gave John a 20-year monopoly for a method of making stained glass that had not previously been known in England,  for creating the stained glass windows of Eton College.

Though English patent system is the world's oldest continuously operating system of patents, the first English patent was not the oldest patent, as Venice was granting patents to glass makers in the 1420s.

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