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September 2017 Issue

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Everything that can be invented has been invented” is a popular quote attributed to Charles H. Duell, commissioner of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office from 1898 to 1901. Today, the quote often is used to ridicule those who refuse to embrace the latest technology or believe nothing new will be forthcoming. The thing is, Duell never said that. He said quite the opposite instead: “In my opinion, all previous advances in the various lines of invention will appear totally insignificant when compared with those which the present century will witness.” Yet, he’s not remembered for that statement, only the former, erroneous one.

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