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Rise in New Patents Shows Creativity

The first patents were issued in Italy in the fifteenth century. The modern U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted its first patent on July 31, 1790. It granted its eight millionth patent on August 16, 2011. The patent office does not keep records of how many different people have been granted patents, but one researcher has estimated that more than six million distinct individuals had received U.S. patents by the end of 2011—and their numbers are increasing. The first million inventors took 130 years to get their patents; it took only eight years to gather the latest million inventors. The trend is unmistakable. In 1800, about one in every 175,000 Americans was granted a first patent. In 2000, one in every 4,000 Americans received one.

After surveying these statistics, MIT professor Kevin Ashton argues that although you may not have a patent, creativity is much more common than we think. Ashton writes, "So when we start counting creators, we find that a lot of people create. Creating is not for an elite few. Creating is not extraordinary, even if its results sometimes are. Creation is human. It is all of us. It is everybody."

Possible Preaching Ideas: We are called by our creative God to pursue creativity in our jobs, in our homes, in our ministries, and so forth. Creativity is an important aspect of leadership.

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