Letter from the Editor-in-Chief
Thomas A. Ward
Editor-in-Chief of New Matter
Welcome to the summer edition of New Matter for 2021. What is the most important patent in the last 200 years? You might say the airplane, telephone, electric lights, cell phones, the computer, mRNA vaccines and the list goes on. But about March of 2020 (during the start of the pandemic) when hoarding and shortages began, one significant invention stood out. The cover art for this issue illustrates this inventionâthe toilet paper roll. Without the toilet paper roll, we could still be using the corncob or the Sears & Roebuck catalog pages (which now would be replaced by billing receipts from Amazon shipments). Anyhow, the toilet paper roll patent shows how important patents that promote inventions are throughout the years, whether or not everyone lists it as one of the most important inventions in recent history.
This issue of New Matter includes articles dealing with trademark rejections based on "failure to function" as well as the digital art revolution and use of encrypted signatures or NFTs (non-fungible tokens) as well as our regular columns dealing with intellectual property issues. We invite you to read and enjoy the articles.