The first patent ever granted in the United States was on July 31, 1790. It was granted to Samuel Hopkins for a process of making potash, which, according to the U.S. Patent Trade Office, is an ingredient used in fertilizer.

How times have changed. 228 years later, on June 19, 2018, the USTPO issued its 10 millionth patent for “Coherent LADAR Using Intra-Pixel Quadrature Detection.” The lucky recipient? Defense contractor Raytheon.