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150th anniversary of the death of Charles Babbage
The lady and the calculator

150 years ago, on 18 October 1871, an all-round genius died who is now considered the "father of the computer": Charles Babbage. His "Analytical Engine" anticipated many features of modern computers. But hardly anyone recognised the true potential of this invention at the time - except Ada Lovelace.

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cube sugar

Cube sugar
An invention that sweetened everyday life

That's a sweet story: Because his wife is said to have injured herself while breaking sugar, Jacob Christoph Rad (who died 150 years ago) invented sugar cubes. Until then, sugar could only be bought in the shape of cones or loafs.

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Enrico Fermi's 120th birthday
The man who knew everything

One of the most important physicists of the 20th century was born 120 years ago: Enrico Fermi. He is often called the "father of the nuclear age" because he built the first nuclear reactor and helped develop the atomic bomb. But Fermi's work goes far beyond that.

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Freddie Mercury's 75th birthday
Immortal frontman of a band with many talents

He would have turned 75 on 5 September: Freddie Mercury, one of the greatest rock singers of all time. Born Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar in 1946, the flamboyant frontman with the enormous vocal range wrote some of Queen´s biggest hits and also created their emblem, which is protected as a word-figurative trademark.

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70 years of "Micky Maus Magazin“
Of mice and money

In September 1951, the number one edition of "Micky Maus Magazin“appeared in Germany. The first real comic magazine on the black-and-white dominated print magazine market hit like a colourful bomb.

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150th birthday of Orville Wright
A short flight into history

They are as famous as Columbus: every child today knows Orville (who was born 150 years ago, on 19 August 1871) and Wilbur Wright as the world's first powered aviators. On 17 December 1903, they made the first short flights with their "Flyer" on the beach of Kill Devil Hills near Kitty Hawk in North Carolina.

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Otto Lilienthal died 125 years ago
The flying inventor

He is world-famous as the "father of aviation": Otto Lilienthal, who died on 10 August 1896. The day before, after numerous successful flight attempts, he had crashed with a glider he had built himself. It is less well known that Lilienthal also was a versatile inventor and engineer who registered a number of interesting patents in various fields.

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165th birthday of Nikola Tesla
Fantastic inventor - inventive fantasist?

One of the most important inventors in the field of electrical engineering was born 165 years ago: Nikola Tesla. For a long time, the influential engineer was half-forgotten. He filed numerous groundbreaking patents, but some of his technical visions crossed the boundaries into the fantastic.

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Jim Morrison's 50th anniversary of death
Storm rider

It's been half a century since one of rock'n roll's greatest icons died. The self-destructive poet, who was found dead on 3 July 1971, shaped the "Doors" as a singer and songwriter, one of the most influential bands of their time and also one of the first to work with a fixed logo, which was later protected as a word-picture trademark.

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135th anniversary of the death of Ludwig II of Bavaria
The fairytale king of trade marks

135 years ago the most famous Bavarian died: King Ludwig II. He wanted to remain an "eternal enigma" - and he succeeded. His secrets and above all his castles, which today are among Bavaria's biggest tourist attractions, make the "Kini" immortal. That is why his name is part of many trade marks.

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Bob Dylan turns 80
The knock on the doors of heaven

Arguably the most influential songwriter of all time is now turning 80. He began as an traditional American folk singer, then wrote hundreds of songs, many of which are now among the best known in the world. Above all, he created lyrics of a unique poetic quality that earned him the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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80 years ago: Presentation of the Zuse "Z3“
Konrad Zuse writes technological history in his living room

80 years ago, Konrad Zuse presented an apparatus in his Berlin flat that is now considered as the world's first functioning, freely programmable computer based on the binary number system and binary circuit technology.

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Died 200 years ago
Napoleon - Emperor of trade marks

Napoleon is one of the most famous figures in world history. No wonder that his name, which really is familiar to each and everyone, is used for numerous trade marks. With 174 registrations, "Napoleon" in DPMAregister clearly beats even his role model "Caesar", who "only" appears in 106 trade mark registrations.

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120th birthday of Carl Barks
Donald Duck, or: When the drake turned human

120 years ago, one of the great artists of the 20th century was born: Carl Barks. You don't know this name? Well, so did many of his biggest fans for a long time. In his active days, he was known only as the anonymous "good artist" in the Disney team of comic authors.

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William Shatner's 90th birthday
Happy birthday, Captain Kirk!

He boldly went where no man had gone before: Captain Kirk of the starship „Enterprise". Now he is turning 90. No, not the captain, who, according to "Star Trek" mythology, will not be born until 2233. The jubilarian is the actor William Shatner, born on 22 March 1931 in Montreal, Canada.

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50 years „Sendung mit der Maus“
Googly-eyed inspirer

Possibly no one in this country has done as much for research and science as the Maus. She has awakened curiosity in whole generations to find out what lies behind things. For half a century, the programme has stirred up a thirst for knowledge in children.

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Wilhelm Maybach
175th birthday: The father of the modern automobile

Everyone knows the pioneers Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, but the name of perhaps the most important engineer of the early phase of the automobile is far less familiar: Wilhelm Maybach. Probably no one contributed so much to the technical development from motorised horse-carriages to the first real automobiles.

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Ferdinand Porsche
70th anniversary of death: The engineer and his century

On January 30, 1951, one of the most famous automobile developers died. Most people know him as the "father" of the VW Beetle and founder of the sports car company. But Porsche also stands for several groundbreaking patents, successes in racing and innovations such as ASC/ASR, the first hybrid and all-wheel drive car.

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250th birthday
Beethoven: The grumpy, deaf genius

Joy, beautiful spark of divinity: 250 years ago, one of the greatest composers of all time was born, Ludwig van Beethoven. He was baptized in Bonn on December 17, 1770. The loss of his hearing was overshadowing Beethoven's life - a suffering that can be well alleviated today thanks to some inventions.

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100. birthday of Ellis Kaut
So much more than the "mother of the Pumuckl"

She is one of the mothers of a well-known "Munich brand" and has thus made herself immortal: The actress, sculptor and writer Ellis Kaut would have celebrated her 100th birthday on November 17. Her most famous "child" is a small, cheeky goblin with red hair whom almost everyone knows - the "Pumuckl".

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Historic X-ray

Röntgen discovers X-rays 125 years ago
A photo that changed the world

On a late Friday evening 125 years ago, Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen made one of the most famous discoveries in the history of science in Würzburg: an unknown, invisible form of radiation. These "X-rays" not only revolutionized medical diagnostics, but also provided the impetus for further research, heralding the atomic age.

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John Lennon's 80th birthday
Lucrative Icon

John Winston Lennon would have turned 80 years old on October 9th – Lennon, the founder of the greatest band of all times, icon of the peace movement, global brand. He is one of the most famous personalities of the 20th century and one of the most successful composers in pop history.

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Jimi Hendrix's 50th anniversary of death
The wild guitar god: virtuoso, innovator, brand

Half a century ago the probably most influential guitarist of all times died: Jimi Hendrix. Nobody played the electric guitar as innovative and revolutionary as he did. Until his early death on September 18, 1970, he changed the history of the instrument and rock music forever.

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First subway in the world
The tube under the Thames

150 years ago the world's first underground transport tunnel opened in London: the Tower Subway. A rail car shuttled back and forth under the river between the banks of the Thames - a much admired technical innovation in 1870. Even though the narrow iron tube was only used for a few months, it set a milestone in the history of transport.

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135 years rabies vaccination
Pasteur's heirs and the search for the redeeming vaccine

Hardly any other question is currently worrying humanity as much as this one: When will there be a vaccine against the corona virus? While feverish research and testing is going on all over the world, we take a look back: 135 years ago, on July 6, 1885, Louis Pasteur began immunizing a person infected with rabies.

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Drawing from DE384245

Bernhard Dräger´s 150th birthday
The re-invention of breathing

Bernhard Dräger was born a 150 years ago on June 14, 1870, and was to write an important piece of German technical and corporate history. Together with his father Heinrich, he developed breathing apparatus for mining and firefighters, resuscitation equipment, automatic anesthetic machines and diving equipment.

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60 years of laser
Shine a light

When Theodore H. Maiman switched on a flash discharge lamp wrapped around a rod-shaped ruby in Malibu on 16 May 1960, a laser flashed for the first time. One of the most important inventions of the 20th century was made. To commemorate this moment, UNESCO celebrates the World Day of Light every year.

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Drawing form patent doc

85 years: The parking meter
Patent for the "penny grave“

Is this a reason to celebrate at all? This certainly is not one of the most popular inventions of all time: the parking meter. 85 years ago, on 13 May 1935, Carlton Cole Magee applied for a patent in the USA for the "Coin controlled parking meter". Since then, the "penny grave" and its modern successors have annoyed motorists worldwide.

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Foto of Enigma

75 years end of WWII
Enigma: cryptography and war

Enigma: This is the exciting story of an ingenious machine for encrypting messages and the brilliant minds who cracked it - and thus crucially influenced the course of the Second World War.

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Marke DE 554801

90 years Knirps
Great little umbrella

The umbrella is a practical invention. But a canopy to take along is even more practical when it can be folded up so small that it fits in every pocket. We owe this idea to Hans Haupt, who applied for a patent for a "shortenable umbrella" on April 26, 1930. He called his pocket umbrella "Knirps" (munchkin, tyke, tiddler).

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50 years ago: Break-up of the Beatles
Beatles, Brands and Apples

50 years ago the biggest band of all times broke up. The end of the group came rather quietly: Paul McCartney sent out a press release on April 10, 1970. In it he stated succinctly that he did not plan any further albums with The Beatles. But this was just the beginning of legal disputes, some of which are still going on today.

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Post-it wall

Post-it anniversary
Career of the sticky notes (with a slow start)

Every invention is worthless as long as you do not know what you can use it for. Sometimes it takes years to find the right application for a development. One of the best known examples are the "Post-it" stickers. The underlying patent was registered 50 years ago and the product was launched on the market 40 years ago.

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Historic Photo

"Natter" - the first manned rocket
Wooden infernal machine: First launch 75 years ago

75 years ago, on 1 March 1945, the first vertically-launching aircraft with rocket propulsion took off. The Bachem Ba 349 may also be called the first manned rocket. The "Natter" (viper, its project name) was a mixed construction of rocket and aircraft with a predetermined breaking point, a partially recyclable disposable interceptor.

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Patent document

125 years ago - Patent for the Lumière brothers
When the pictures started moving: the Cinematograph

With this patent the success story of cinema began: 125 years ago, on 13 February 1895, the brothers August and Louis Lumière applied for a patent in France for an "Appareil servant à l'obtention et à la vision des épreuves chrono-photographiques" (FR 245.032). With the "Kinematograph", the moving image started conquering the world.

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Roller coaster

Roller coaster patents
135 years of screeching and racing

On 20 January 1885, one of the first patents for a roller coaster was granted: US310966A "Roller coasting structure" by L.A. Thompson. He had built a "Switchback Railway" the year before on Coney Island. This marked the beginning of the roller coaster's unbroken triumphal ride into amusement parks around the world.

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Prof. Dr. Artur Fischer

100th birthday of Artur Fischer
The mass inventor and his masterpiece

We owe it to Artur Fischer that pictures don't fall from the wall, shelves are fixed and the wardrobe hangs securely. The inventor from Tumlingen, who was born 100 years ago, is regarded as one of the most productive inventors of all time: he filed 2252 patents and utility models with the DPMA.

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Simpsons logo

Thirty years of "The Simpsons"
Money & merchandise, or: When the going gets Duff

They are yellow, ugly, chaotic - and incredibly popular: 30 years ago "The Simpsons" appeared for the first time on US television. 31 seasons and over 650 episodes later, the series is the most long-lived and successful in the United States. And a billion-dollar business worldwide, backed by the full range of intellectual property protection rights.

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Asterix and Obelix

Asterix wird 60
World literature with wild boars

By Toutatis! A real European cultural asset celebrates its 60th birthday, and the whole of Gaul is celebrating. The whole of Gaul? Yes, indeed! With special coins, stamps, exhibitions and everything that it involves. On 29 October 1959, Asterix the Gaul had his very first appearance in the pilot edition of the French youth magazine “Pilote”.

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Papierakte "Perkeo"

Eternal life is possible
Germany's number 1 brand "Perkeo" celebrates its 125th birthday

It took just 16 days from the filing of the application to the registration of the German trademark number 1 "Perkeo": on October 1, 1894, the "Law for the Protection of the Description of Goods" or "Warenbezeichnungsgesetz" for short came into force, which for the first time also protected word marks and equipment.

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Detail from patent doc

Technology in football
The screw stud shoe: Who invented it?

To this day, a football legend persists: Adi Dassler, so the tale goes, made a decisive contribution to the "Miracle of Bern" with the screw-in studs he invented. But Dassler did not invent the screw-in studs at all. 70 years ago, on 30 August 1949, Alexander Salot applied for a patent for "replaceable anti-skid studs".

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Withehead´s No 21

Wright or wrong?
The Whitehead mystery of the world's first flight

Perhaps the world's first powered flight took place on August 14, 1901 in Bridgeport, Connecticut - or maybe not. Few questions in the history of technology are discussed as fiercely as the question of whether the Wright brothers were the first to fly a powered aircraft - or Gustave Whitehead more than two years earlier?

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Astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the moon

50 years lunar landing
The patents that brought the man to the moon

It was one of the greatest events in the history of mankind: 50 years ago the first astronaut walked the moon. A small step in that very moment for Neil Armstrong, but a giant leap for mankind.

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Farina Firmenschild von 1868

World's oldest perfume manufacturer
310 years of fighting imitators

One of the oldest German companies celebrates its anniversary: For 310 years the company "Johann Maria Farina gegenüber dem Jülichs-Platz GmbH" has been in existence in Cologne. And for almost as long the world's oldest perfume factory still in existence has been fighting against counterfeiters, imitators and product pirates.

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Anniversary of the comic character
Donald Duck turns 85

At the age of 85 still choleric, mostly unlucky, chronically broke and single father of triplets: Donald Duck still doesn't have it easy. Probably the most famous comic figure on the planet (next to Mickey Mouse from the same house) celebrates his birthday.

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Zhe Antikythera mechanism

The Antikythera mechanism
The "first computer" - an ancient miracle of technology

Spring 1900 in the Aegean Sea: Off the coast of the small Greek island Antikythera men dive for sponges. They reach into depths of 50 meters and more. One of them, Ilias Stadiatis, returns from his dive with the bronze arm of an ancient statue. He has found an ancient shipwreck on the seabed.

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Leonardo da Vinci died 500 years ago
Fearless researcher, visionary inventor

On 2 May 1519, a man of superlatives died at Clos Lucé Castle in Amboise, Leonardo da Vinci. He is not only regarded as one of the greatest painters in history, but also as an unrivalled all-round genius and universal scholar. Numerous new books and exhibitions celebrate the Renaissance Superman.

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Albert Einstein´s 140th anniversary
The best-known patent examiner of all time

A genius of the century, an icon of the natural sciences, the most famous physicist of all time: With Albert Einstein, you run out of superlatives. 140 years ago, on 14 March 1879, in Ulm was born the man who shaped our knowledge of the world as only Newton did before him.

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Album titel

90 years "Tintin"
Comic of the 20th century: The clever boy with the iconic quiff

Billions of billious blue blistering barnacles! Can it really be true that Titin and Snowy are already 90 years old? That's how it is: On January 10, 1929, the magazine "Le Petit Vingtième" published the first episode of "Tintin", probably the most influential European comic strip.

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Joseph Mohr´s autograph

200 years of “Silent Night”
The song, its history and the trade marks

It is referred to as the “eternal song”, now it turns 200 years old: “Silent Night, Holy Night” (Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht), probably the most famous Christmas song in the world. The song is sung all over the world in the most diverse languages and dialects. It is assumed that there are up to 300 translations.

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Beatles CD-Cover

50 years White Album
The Beatles, their masterpiece and a famous trademark Dispute

50 years ago, on 22 November 1968, probably the most musically versatile album of all time was released: "The Beatles", better known as the "White Album". A milestone of music, but also of the economic history of popular culture, because this was the seed of a dispute over trademarks and copyrights that lasted for decades.

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Oktoberfest 2018

100 Years “Freistaat”
Palaces, schnapps & taxes: Bavaria's trade marks

These were turbulent times at the beginning of November 1918: the First World War was lost, uprisings and revolutions flared up, in Bavaria the Free State was proclaimed. For the 100th anniversary, we would like to take a look at the trade mmarks of the Free State of Bavaria registered with the DPMA.

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Volvo advertisement

60 years three-point belt
The life-saver that was only slowly accepted

This invention has saved the lives of countless people: On August 29, 1958, a patent application was filed in Sweden for the three-point belt. Nils Ivar Bohlin, engineer at the car manufacturer Volvo, thus brought the safety belt for vehicles, which had been known for over 50 years, into its current form.

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90 years Mickey Mouse
Of mice and money

The world's best-known comic figure, Mickey Mouse, made her first appearance 90 years ago. Although the premiere of the film "Steamboat Willie" on November 18, 1928 is often assumed to be the date of birth of the mouse, it actually had its screen debut on May 15 of the same year in the cartoon "Plane Crazy".

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Picture credits included in the individual articles.

University of Michigan, iStock,, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons, DEPATISnet,, DPMAregister

Last updated: 12 October 2021 


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