Mark Twain: Writer, Humorist… Inventor?

Mark Twain is best known for penning literary classics like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and his razor-sharp wit, but few people realize he was also an inventor. He received three patents during his lifetime and used the proceeds from marketing one of them to supplement his income for years. 

Part-time inventors like Twain, whose real name is Samuel Clemens, play a critical role in the innovation economy here in South Florida and around the world. The Lomnitzer Law Firm is proud of the work we do to help business owners, inventors, and entrepreneurs protect their creations by securing patents. 

Twain The Inventor

Mark Twain was awarded three patents in his lifetime: an adjustable garment strap in 1871, a scrapbook with pre-gummed pages in 1873, and a board game to teach historical dates and facts in 1885. 

According to The Bancroft Library, “The garment strap was never manufactured, but it embroiled Clemens for years in a legal dispute with a rival inventor; the history game got only as far as the prototype stage and was probably doomed by its complexity; the scrapbook was produced and earned a modest profit for decades.”

Twain’s interactions with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) made a positive impression on him. In 1889, he published A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, which extolled the importance of a strong patent system. 

The main character, who is using his experience in the modern world to try and improve the lives of Arthurian peasants remarks, “…the very first official thing I did in my administration—and it was on the very first day of it too—was to start a patent office; for I knew that a country without a patent office and good patent laws was just a crab and couldn’t travel anyway but sideways and backwards.”

While we are not sure if any of our clients are such fans of the USPTO that they would rave about in a work of fiction — applying for a patent is a much more complex process than it was in the late 1800s — we are certain that patents have helped our clients move forward. They are a powerful tool that protects creators and allows them to profit. 

Powerful Representation For Your Creation

As South Florida’s premier intellectual property, business, and entertainment legal practice,

The Lomnitzer Law Firm, P.A., is dedicated to helping creators secure their IP rights and commercialize their ideas. 

Our diverse team of intellectual property attorneys has real-world experience in the entertainment, tech, and sports industries, and the corporate world. This, combined with our legal training, means we know how to do more than blindly shepherd their patent applications through the USPTO. We counsel, advise, and craft custom solutions to meet the unique needs of our South Florida clients. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.