Projector (patent)

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In English, projectors were people with projects, planned endeavors, envisioning Futures techniques#Visioning their objectives. Originally, a project was a plan of something, or the place from which a thing projects, not to the act of actually carrying this plan out, so something performed in accordance with a project became known as an "object", the goal.[1] Examples of projectors have characteristics including being an inventor, having an originating interest in a plan's outcome, and a material interest in promoting that project.


Projector is a 19th-century term in United States patent law meaning the original true inventor. “True inventor” at the time meant the first inventor to reduce an invention to practice. In United States patent law, the reduction to practice is a concept meaning the embodiment of the concept of an invention.[2]

As a synonym for promoter, e.g. in the phrase "railway projectors", the term was used in a derogatory fashion in a 1790 document. In that discussion of needed changes in the patent act, 'projector' described someone who overzealously promotes an invention.[3] In this sense, Corporate promoters are types of projecters. They focus on the future acceptance and support of their business' interests. They may be subject to legal regulations about the way they promote a business interest, to provide oversight in the ways they pursue their objectives.

Projectors are satirized, in Gulliver's Travels (1735), by Anglo-Irish writer and clergyman Jonathan Swift. The context is a report on oddities and inadequacies in high-society European-like cultures. It is a parody of reports on Asian, New World, or aboriginal cultures common in that era's travellers' tales. One of these cultures had the habit of maintaining researchers and inventors in academies. Swift refers to these fictional scientists as "projectors". He describes ludicrous research agendas in so-called "academies of projectors", diverting resources from their empoverished country.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Willard Phillips, The Law of Patents for Inventions: including the remedies and legal proceedings in relation to Patent Rights”, pp65 et seq. American Stationers’ Company, Boston, 1837
  3. ^ Frank D. Prager, “Proposals for the Patent Act of 1790", Journal of the Patent and Trademark Office Society, March 1954, vol XXXVI, No. 3, pp 157 et Seq.
  4. ^, Jonathan (1735). Gulliver's Travels. Retrieved 2013-10-27.