Happy Labor Day!

I think patents have a romantic association with labor–the crafty artisan who comes up with a new way to do things and revolutionizes their industry.

Of course, that hardly ever happens anymore. The modern patent system is largely a numbers game, where your employer vacuums up all the intellectual property you generate on the job. That imposes an ironic limit on innovation, as people are reluctant to develop their own ideas on their own time, out of fear that the company will appropriate the work.

Anyway, here is an excellent design patent for a labor union badge from 1935:

USP D94,311, FIG. 1

It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to get a design patent on something like this, since it’s unlikely anyone would have wanted to come in and make their own competing United Rubber Workers Federal Labor Union badges, but it looks pretty awesome and I’m glad they did it. Labor Omnia Vincit!

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