Intellectual Property Law

New Matter SPRING 2024, VOLUME 49, EDITION 1


Thomas A. Ward

Welcome to the spring edition of New Matter for 2024. The cover of this edition showcases George Washington Carver, a prolific black inventor, if you are not already familiar, I have researched a short biography highlighting his connection with intellectual property as follows:

George Washington Carver was born in Missouri into slavery in 1864, just before the end of the Civil War. His owner, Moses Carver, had bought George’s mother and father as slaves in 1855 and they had two sons, James and George, and a daughter. Night raiders came and stole the slaves, all except James who the Carvers helped escape. Moses Carver was able to ransom back George but his other family members were never found. When the Civil War ended and slavery was abolished in Missouri, the Carvers raised James and George as their own children.

Carver applied to several colleges before being accepted in Highland, Kansas. When he arrived in 1886, they refused to let him attend because of his race, which they had assumed was white. Carver then homesteaded a claim in the area where he maintained a small conservatory of plants and flowers. He manually plowed 17 acres, planting rice, corn, and garden produce, as well as various fruit trees.

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